Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane sentenced to 3 years in prison for aiding killing of George Floyd
A former Minneapolis police officer pleaded guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison.Thomas Lane has 30 months in federal prison in Colorado Violating Floyd’s civil rights.
When it comes to the state’s case, prosecutors and Lane’s attorneys have agreed to recommend a three-year sentence — which is below sentencing guidelines — and prosecutors have agreed to allow him to serve concurrently with his federal sentence, and in federal prison.
Judge Peter Cahill accepted the plea deal, saying he would sentence Lane under guidelines because he accepted responsibility.
“I think it was a very wise decision for you to accept the responsibility and move on with your life,” Cahill said, while acknowledging that the Floyd family couldn’t move on with their lives.
Under Minnesota rules, Lane is presumed to serve two years in prison and the rest to be released under supervision, commonly known as parole.
Floyd, 46, died in May 2020 Officer Derek ChauvinThe white man put his knee on Floyd’s neck, knocking Floyd to the ground, and the black man repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. Ryan, the white man, held Floyd’s leg. Black J. Alexander Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Hmong American Tou Thao prevented bystanders from intervening during 9 1/2 minutes of restraint.
The killing, captured on widely-viewed bystander video, sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the globe as part of a reckoning over racial injustice.
Wednesday’s sentencing hearing was held remotely. Lane appeared via video from Englewood Federal Correctional Institution, a low-security federal prison concentration camp in Littleton, Colorado.The entire sentencing lasted about eight minutes, CBS Minnesota report.
Before the sentencing, he made no statement to the court. But after the hearing was adjourned, Lane complained to his lawyer that the judge had said he would have to register as a predatory offender “if required.”
“I have to register as a predatory criminal? What is that (expletive)?” Lane said. He added: “That’s what Chauvin has to do. If my role is small, why (expletive) do I have to do it?”
Gray told him he would investigate.
Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter and sentenced to 22 1/2 years in state prison in 2021. He also pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights, and his state and federal sentences are being served concurrently.
Kueng and Thao were also convicted on federal civil rights charges and sentenced to three and 3 1/2 years in prison, respectively. They have yet to report to federal prison and are scheduled to stand trial in October on state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
When Lane pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter earlier this year, he admitted he knowingly helped restrain Floyd in a way that created an unreasonable risk and caused his death. A more serious charge of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder was dismissed as part of the plea deal.
In the plea deal, Lane admitted that he knew from training that restraining Floyd in this way would pose a serious risk of death, and that he heard Floyd say he couldn’t breathe and knew Floyd was silent , has no pulse, and appears to be unconscious.
The plea deal said Lane knew Floyd should be pushed to his side — evidence shows he asked twice whether it should be done — but continued to assist with restraint despite the risks. Lane agreed that the restriction “was unreasonable in the circumstances and constituted an unlawful use of force.”