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Ex-Minneapolis Officer Fights to Have George Floyd Charges Dropped

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This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows J. Alexander Kueng, from left, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. They have been charged with aiding and abetting Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by the Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

One of the ex-Minneapolis police officers who is charged over George Floyd’s fatal arrest is fighting to have his case dropped, arguing that he had no way of knowing his colleagues were going to “commit a crime,” court documents reveal.

Tou Thao, who appears on the video of the incident as the officer who was keeping back spectators as Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, filed papers on Wednesday arguing that the charges were “not supported by probable cause.”

His attorney, Robert Paule, believes that prosecutors have failed to show that 34-year-old 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.”

The complaint against him also “fails to establish by probable cause that Mr. Thao had the requisite mental state for aiding and abetting,” Wednesday’s filing adds.

The filing calls for all the charges to be dropped by the time of Thao’s next court hearing on Sept. 11. He is currently out on a $750,000 bond.

Thao and fellow officers, 27-year-old J Alexander Kueng, and 36-year-old Thomas Lane, were all charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter over Floyd’s death.

Meanwhile, 44-year-old Chauvin, is charged with murder.

All four were fired as Minneapolis officers, after video emerged of Floyd’s arrest as he repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe,” sparking weeks of nationwide protests and social unrest.