Tou Thao is no longer in Minnesota, United States. The Asian-American cop involved in the fatal arrest of George Floyd is represented by Robert Paule, one of the top-rated criminal defense attorneys in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
On May 25, 2020, Thao was one of the four cops from the Minneapolis Police Department who responded to a report by an employee at Cup Foods at 3579 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis claiming that a customer was trying to pay with a counterfeit $20 bill. The other cops were Derek Michael Chauvin, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng.
It was a fatal arrest witnessed by several bystanders and streamed live on Facebook. Thao did not touch Floyd during the arrest.
While Chauvin, Lane and Kueng were holding Floyd, Thao was watching and telling the eyewitnesses to get back. The arrestee started to lose consciousness and was later brought by paramedics to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis where he was pronounced dead.
On May 26, 2020, the Minneapolis Police Department terminated Thao, Chauvin, Lane and Kueng. At 11:44 a.m. on May 29, 2020, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension took Chauvin into custody and he is being held at the adult detention center Ramsey County jail in St. Paul, Minnesota, CBS News reported.
Also on May 29, 2020, Paule confirmed that Thao has left Minnesota. The former Minneapolis Police Department officer is “safely elsewhere,” the Minnesota Star Tribute quoted the lawyer as saying.
The Minneapolis Police Department hired Thao on February 4, 2008. He started as a community service officer and his badge number was 7162.
In 2009, Thao went through the Minneapolis Police Academy. He was laid off from 2010 to 2011 but the Minneapolis Police Department hired him back in 2012, giving him a full-time position.
Following the death of Floyd, Minneapolis has been dealing with protests. Asian-Americans also named Tou Thao have been receiving harassment from strangers.