Minneapolis, MN – The last of the former Minneapolis police officers charged in connection with the death of George Floyd was sentenced to almost five years in prison on Monday.
At his sentencing on Aug. 7, former Minneapolis Police Officer Tou Thao cited passages from the Bible for 23 minutes, FOX News reported.
Thao told the court that while “distressed” in prison over the “false narratives” surrounding the case, reading the Bible had helped him and a deputy had taught him how to interpret the gospel in a new way.
“Repent means changing of mind, changing of doing your will to God’s will. This is what repentance means. It’s kind of unpopular today. It’s kind of a bad word now. We insist Jesus do all of the dying without surrendering our whole heart to do His will,” Thao said.
“God tells us in Romans and Psalms that no one is good, not one. For me, I thought I was good enough, but I was deceived. The Pharisees and the scribes. The Pharisees were religious and political leaders. The scribes’ loyal teachers. They demonstrate the example of fallen man’s nature,” he continued.
“They were fearful they would lose their power and influence and the security of their way of life,” Thao said. “If Jesus becomes the power their way of their life would be gone. Jesus essentially became a political prisoner. For them it was better one man than the whole nation.”
However, Thao never apologized or took responsibility for the crimes for which he was convicted, FOX News reported.
Thao’s attorney had asked Cahill to sentence his client to 41 months in prison.
“The death of Mr. Floyd is a tragedy just as the death of any human being is, and this is not a court of retribution. This is a court of justice,” the lawyer said.
“I would point out that my client did not begin that day, did not go out to this call with anything but the purest of intentions. He had been a police officer sworn to serve, and he believed in that service,” the defense attorney said. “And he went out to help the situation out. He cannot undo what’s done, and obviously the court has spoken with regard to the verdict in this case. But my client is a good and decent man with a family just as all of us in this courtroom are.”
Thao was the officer seen in the video holding back the crowd from the officers who were trying to take Floyd into custody.
Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill noted Thao’s lack of remorse when he handed down the former police officer’s sentence of 57 months behind bars, UPI reported.
The sentence Cahill gave Thao was on the higher end of the recommended guidelines from the state for his convictions for aiding and abetting and abetting manslaughter.
“To be perfectly honest, after three years [of] reflection I was hoping for a little more remorse, regret, acknowledgment of some responsibility, and less preaching,” the judge told Thao.
“Suffice it to say that I think your culpability is less than Mr. Chauvin, but well above Mr. Kueng and Mr. Lane as an experienced officer in the best position to save Mr. Floyd,” Cahill continued.
Thao is currently serving a three-and-a-half year federal sentence for depriving Floyd of his civil rights during the incident that led to his death, FOX News reported.
He will finish the sentence in a federal prison and then be transferred to a Minnesota facility to serve out the remainder of his state time.
Thao has already served 340 days behind bars, FOX News reported.
In August of 2022, the former officer rejected a plea deal that was offered by the state.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer J. Alexander Kueng also refused to take the plea deal.