New Problems with the New Charges Against the Officers Arresting George Floyd

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Complaints have been filed against the other three officers who were involved in the arrest of George Floyd. Like the problems with the charges against Derek Chauvin, there are serious and significant problems with the charges against the newly charged officers. The complaints against these officers are:

  1. J. Alexander Kueng
  2. Thomas K. Lane
  3. Tou Thoa

The Problem With the Charges Against Tou Thoa

Officer Tou Thoa is the second officer in the famous video who is keeping the crowd away from the subdued George Floyd. The charge is “Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Murder” and “Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Manslaughter.”

The crime of “aiding and abetting” is described in this statute at Section 609.05 of the Minnesota Code. To be guilty, one must do the following:

Subdivision 1.Aiding, abetting; liability.

Subdivision 1. A person is criminally liable for a crime committed by another if the person intentionally aids, advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with or otherwise procures the other to commit the crime.

What is surprising about the complaint against him is that according to the complaint and the video evidence, Officer Tou Thoa never speaks to the restraining officers and never lays a finger on George Floyd as he is restrained at his death.

Instead, we learn that George Floyd would not get into the police vehicle because he claimed he was claustrophobic. (Note, as I have said before, we are seeing more and more evidence of George Floyd’s actions being abnormal and likely influenced by the fentanyl and meth in his system.)

After the first failure to get George Floyd into the police vehicle, we see the actions of Thoa specifically described in the following paragraph:

The defendant initially obtained a hobble restraint from the squad car to restrain Mr. Floyd in that manner, but the officers decided not to use it an maintained their positions. During this time, the defendant looked directly at how Chauvin was restraining Mr. Floyd, with Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck area, and observed that the three officers had Mr. Floyd subdued in this manner. The defendant then became concerned about a number of citizens who had gathered and were watching the officers subdue Mr. Floyd, and potential traffic concerns, and so the defendant stood between those citizens and the three officers restraining Mr. Floyd. When one citizen stepped off the curb, imploring Chauvin to get off Mr. Floyd, the defendant put his hands on the citizen to keep him back.

“The defendant” is never mentioned again.

So let me ask a question, and go back and review all the video evidence if you need to: In this paragraph, can you find where Tou Thoa ever took an action (even by speaking) that aided, advised, hired, counseled, or conspired to kill George Floyd? I can’t see it. It’s not that I can’t see “evidence” for it. I don’t even see the words in the complaint describing it.

The only thing Tou Thoa did was get a hobble restraint (which is a mechanism that connects the hands to the feet to restrict the movement of an aggressive detainee). But the officers decided not to use it. This can’t be an “aid” to anything because this “aid” was never offered.

The only real action we have that connects Tou Thoa to George Floyd’s death is that he LOOKED at the officers restraining him and OBSERVED that this was the case. Never is he shown speaking, advising, hiring, counseling, or conspiring to kill George Floyd.

Based on what we know, he’s completely innocent, and it is an injustice that this complaint was ever brought and this officer was ever jailed in the first place.

The Problems With the Charges Against J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane

Officer Lane is the officer that arrested George Floyd. He took him out of the vehicle, arrested him, and sat him against the building. Based on when we learn that an ambulance was called, Officer Lane or Officer Kueng were most likely the individuals who called the ambulance to come.

These officers have also been charged with the crime of “aiding and abetting Second Degree Murder” and Second Degree Manslaughter. To be guilty, one must do the following:

Subdivision 1.Aiding, abetting; liability.

Subdivision 1. A person is criminally liable for a crime committed by another if the person intentionally aids, advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with or otherwise procures the other to commit the crime.

Since the facts of each complaint are so similar, I will quote the complaint of Officer Lane, who is “the defendant” in the following text. The story picks up after George Floyd has been taken to the police vehicle without incident, but then refuses to get in because he is “claustrophobic”:

MPD Officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao the arrived in a separate squad car.

The defendant, together with the other officers, made several attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the backseat of their squad car by pushing him from the driver’s side. As the officers were trying to force Mr. Floyd in the backseat, Mr. Floyd repeatedly said that he could not breathe. Mr. Floyd did not voluntarily sit in the backseat and the officers physically struggled to try to get him in the backseat.

Officer Chauvin went to the passenger side and tried to get Mr. Floyd into the car from that side and the defendant and Kueng assisted.

Officer Chauvin pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s back and the defendant held his legs. Officer Chauvin placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please,” as well. At one point, Mr Floyd said “I’m about to die.” Officer Chauvin and the other two officers stayed in their positions.

One of the officers said, “You are talking fine” to Mr. Floyd as he continued to move back and forth. The defendant asked, “should we roll him on his side?” and Officer Chauvin said, “No, staying put where we got him.” The defendant said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.” Officer Chauvin said, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.” Officer Chauvin and Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s right hand up. Despite his comments, the defendant took no actions to assist Mr. Floyd, to change his position, or to reduce the force the officers were using against Mr. Floyd. None of the three officers moved from their positions.

While Mr. Floyd showed slight movements, his movements and sounds decreased until at 8:24:24, Mr. Floyd stopped moving. At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. The defendant said, “want to roll him on his side.” Kueng check Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.” None of the officers moved from their positions.

Here’s the main problem with this complaint. According to the four complaints, it is Derek Chauvin who is the one who allegedly committed the “manslaughter/murder.” For Kueng and Lane to be guilty of anything, they need to “aid, advise, hire, counsel, or conspire” with Chauvin to do that.

But as these two officers were the ones arresting, and as Derek Chauvin arrived on scene later with Officer Tou Thoa, it seems that in a common-sense way that Chauvin was aiding them in the arrest. They were not aiding him in the arrest.

Additionally, the two statements we have from Officer Lane do not “advise” Derek Chauvin to do what he did, but rather, there is a suggestion (“roll him on his side”) that is quite different from what they did.

During this time, Officer Kueng is checking for a pulse and holding his hands to prevent George Floyd from being able to move. There has been no allegation that holding the hands contributed in any way to the death.

Do you see the crime? I do not. It’s not that I don’t see evidence for the crime, I do not even see the crime contained in this complaint.

Even if Derek Chauvin is guilty of murder or manslaughter (which I highly doubt will be the case), the actions of checking for a pulse and suggesting to roll George Floyd on his side are the opposite of aiding and abetting his death.

Based on what we now know, these two officers are completely innocent, and it is an injustice that these charges were ever brought and these officers were ever jailed in the first place.

The Absence of Additional Murder/Manslaughter Charges

Additionally, it is notable that though the attorney for the family claimed that the knee on the back was just as much of a problem as the knee on the neck, there is no allegation of murder by those additional knees. The only alleged “murderer” is Derek Chauvin. These other officers merely “assisted.”

This prosecution is going to go up in flames, and it might not even see a trial at all.

The Underlying Problem With the Whole Prosecution

I have already written extensively about how the knee on the neck is explicitly allowed by the Minneapolis Police Department Use of Force guidelines, despite the false statements of the Mayor of Minneapolis to the contrary.

The prosecution’s main difficulty proving the charge of Second Degree Murder (recently upgraded from Third Degree Murder) is the a necessary element of “a murder.”

In the complaints against the other three officers, we get yet another horrible fact from the complaint:

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26, 2020. While the ME did not observe physical findings supportive of mechanical asphyxia, the ME opined that Mr. Floyd died from cardiopumonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officers.

In other words, there is no physical evidence supporting the idea that Derek Chauvin’s knee killed George Floyd. Despite this fact, the only alleged “murderer” of George Floyd is Derek Chauvin. Officers Lane, Kueng, and Thoa are not alleged to have been the causes of George Floyd Death.

Repeatedly mentioned by the prosecution, but still unexplored, is the very high probability that the most responsible causal factor in the death of George Floyd was his body’s reaction to the fentanyl and meth in his system at the time of his death, manifesting itself through Excited Delirium, which kills 2/3 of all victims encountered by police before they even arrive at the hospital.

In my humble legal opinion, this prosecution is going to go up in flames. Let’s pray that other things don’t go up in flames when that happens.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it seems the State of Minnesota is currently stuck prosecuting one officer for the murder/manslaughter of George Floyd when there is no physical evidence that his single point of contact (his knee) caused George Floyd’s death.

The other officers who had more contact with George Floyd are charged with “aiding and abetting” that murder/manslaughter caused by the knee, even though their “aiding” and “abetting” actions only include suggesting that George Floyd be moved (Lane) and holding his hands and checking George Floyd’s pulse (Kueng) as the four officers waited for an ambulance they had called not long before.

The final officer being charged with “aiding and abetting” the murder/manslaughter of George Floyd, Officer Thoa, neither touched George Floyd during the restraint that allegedly killed him, nor did he speak or interact with the officers who did it. All that is alleged is that he “looked” and “observed” that it was happening.

And we haven’t even heard a peep from the defense. Yikes.

At this stage, I think someone needs to check the pulse and vital signs of City Prosecutor Mike Freeman and Attorney General Keith Ellison. If I were them, I’d worry about my own cardiopulmonary arrest in light of this horrendous situation.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Martyn Evans says:

    1. You may be writing the defense.

    2. If the force of Chauvin’s knee proves to be part of the cause of death, then would restraining Mr. Floyd while Chauvin crushed his neck not be aiding?

    Like

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