Former Minneapolis Officer Testifies That He Failed To Alert Partners To Crowd’s Concerns About George Floyd’s Medical Distress

Tou Thao took the witness stand as he and two other former Minneapolis officers are on trial in federal court over Floyd’s death.

Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao, charged with George Floyd’s death, testified Wednesday (Feb. 16) that he failed to communicate crowd concerns about Floyd’s medical condition to other officers at the scene.

Thao was on the witness stand for a second consecutive day. He’s one of three former officers charged in federal court with violating Floyd’s constitutional rights when ex-officer Derek Chauvin fatally pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck on May 25, 2020.

On that day, nearly two years ago, Thao, 36, restrained bystanders on the sidewalk, while former officers J. Alexander Kueng kneed on Floyd’s back and Thomas Lane pinned down Floyd’s legs.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that on cross-examination Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney LeeAnn Bell asked Thao if he told the other officers that Floyd, 46, "stopped speaking, went unconscious and that you had gotten requests from the crowd to check his pulse?"

Thao asked the prosecutor how he could have known any of those things.

Bell responded, "I'm asking if you communicated about any of that."

"No," he replied.

When asked by Bell, Thao admitted that he could have alerted his partners from where he was standing, and Thao also confirmed that he did not tell Chauvin to get off of Floyd’s neck at any point during the nearly 10 minutes that Chauvin knelt on the handcuffed, face-down Floyd.

Thao testified that his job was crowd control during the arrest, and he trusted the other officers to take care of Floyd, the newspaper said. Throughout his testimony, he referred to Chauvin as a “19-year veteran” who knew how to manage Floyd’s immediate medical needs.

But that’s not what happened. Police body camera footage and bystander videos showed that none of the officers performed CPR on Floyd before paramedics arrived at the scene.

RELATED: Derek Chauvin Verdict - Guilty On All Counts In Death of George Floyd

RELATED: Firefighter: Ex-Officers In George Floyd’s Death Ignored Her Pleas To Give Emergency Medical Assistance

A state jury convicted Chauvin on April 20, 2021, on all counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd. He later pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges.

The three ex-cops are also charged in state court with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death. They are charged in federal court with depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority. Kueng was expected to testify Wednesday afternoon.

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