Ex-Minneapolis cop argues for dropped charges in Floyd death

Two men in suits and masks.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Tou Thao leaves the Hennepin County Courthouse with his attorney Robert Paule after a motions hearing in Minneapolis on July 21. Paule filed a motion Wednesday saying Thao will ask the judge to dismiss the charges
Evan Frost | MPR News file

A second former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd will seek to have the charges against him dismissed.

Defense attorney Robert Paule filed a motion Wednesday saying Tou Thao will ask the judge to dismiss the charges at a hearing on Sept. 11. An attorney for former officer Thomas Lane, Earl Gray, also has filed a motion saying he will argue to dismiss the charges against his client.

Paule said he will argue that the charges against Thao are not supported by probable cause. Prosecutors must prove that Thao knew former officer Derek Chauvin and others were going to commit a crime and “intended his presence or actions to further the commission of that crime,” Paule said in his motion.

Paule said Thao's body camera video will show the lack of probable cause. Thao, 34, was seen in cellphone video standing near a crowd of bystanders as Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes on May 25 even after Floyd, who was Black, pleaded for air.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Thao, Lane and another officer, J. Kueng, are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers were fired.

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