It was recently reported that former Minneapolis Police Officer Thomas Lane has pleaded guilty Wednesday to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the 2020 death of George Floyd.
As part of a plea deal, Lane had a count of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder dismissed. The state is recommending a sentence of three years for Lane and has agreed to allow him to serve the time in a federal prison.
Do you trust the main stream media?
"*" indicates required fields
Lane, along with J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, has already been convicted on federal counts of willfully violating Floyd’s rights during the May 2020 restraint that led to the Black man’s death.
The plea deal would allow Lane to serve the state’s recommended 3-year sentence concurrently with the federal conviction – where a sentence has yet to be determined, according to the Star Tribune.
Their former colleague, Derek Chauvin, pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights and faces a federal sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years. Chauvin earlier was convicted of state charges of murder and manslaughter and sentenced to 22 1/2 years in the state case.
Floyd, 46, died May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck, as Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. Lane and Kueng helped to restrain Floyd, who was handcuffed. Lane held down Floyd’s legs and Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back. Thao kept bystanders from intervening during the 9 1/2-minute restraint.
Lane was convicted along with Kueng and Thao of federal charges in February, after a monthlong trial that focused on the officers’ training and the culture of the police department.
All three were convicted of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care and Thao and Kueng were also convicted of failing to intervene to stop Chauvin during the killing, which was caught on video and sparked protests around the world.
The Associated Press went on to report that Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office prosecuted the case, issued a statement saying he was pleased that Lane accepted responsibility for his role in Floyd’s death.
“His acknowledgment he did something wrong is an important step toward healing the wounds of the Floyd family, our community, and the nation,” Ellison said. “While accountability is not justice, this is a significant moment in this case and a necessary resolution on our continued journey to justice.”
Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, said in a statement that Lane did not want to risk a lengthy prison sentence if convicted of murder, so he agreed to plead guilty to the manslaughter count.
“He has a newborn baby and did not want to risk not being part of the child’s life,” Gray said. Lane remained free on bond and a presentence investigation was ordered. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 21 on the state charge.
Donald Trump Poll
"*" indicates required fields
The hearing was streamed over Zoom for Floyd’s family members. Their attorneys issued a statement afterward, saying Lane’s plea “reflects a certain level of accountability,” but that it came only after Lane, Kueng and Thao’s conviction on the federal charges.
“Hopefully, this plea helps usher in a new era where officers understand that juries will hold them accountable, just as they would any other citizen,” family attorneys Ben Crump, Jeff Storms and Antonio Romanucci said. “Perhaps soon, officers will not require families to endure the pain of lengthy court proceedings where their criminal acts are obvious and apparent.”
Chauvin pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights and faces a federal sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years. The former officer earlier was convicted of state charges of murder and manslaughter is currently serving 22 1/2 years in the state case.
Lane’s plea comes during a week when the country is focused on the deaths of 10 Black people in Buffalo, New York, at the hands of an 18-year-old white man, who carried out the racist, livestreamed shooting Saturday in a supermarket.
Lane, Kueng and Thao were convicted of federal charges in February, after a monthlong trial that focused on the officers’ training and the culture of the police department. All three were convicted of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care and Thao and Kueng were also convicted of failing to intervene to stop Chauvin during the killing.
After their federal conviction, there was a question as to whether the state trial would proceed. At an April hearing in state court, prosecutors revealed that they had offered plea deals to all three men, but they were rejected. At the time Gray said it was hard for the defense to negotiate when the three still didn’t know what their federal sentences would be.