Former police officer jailed for ‘aiding and abetting’ death of George Floyd

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The former Minneapolis police officer, who pleaded guilty to a state charge of aiding in the murder of George Floyd and second-degree manslaughter, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

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Thomas Lane is already serving a two-and-a-half-year federal sentence for Mr Floyd’s civil rights violations.

Prosecutors and Lane’s lawyers had agreed to a recommended sentence of three years—which is well below sentencing guidelines—and prosecutors agreed to allow him to serve that sentence at the same time as his federal sentence. Of.


Judge Peter Cahill accepted the plea agreement, saying he would punish Lane under the guidelines because he accepted responsibility.

He said in his sentence: “I think it was a very wise decision for you to accept responsibility and move on with your life”.

Under Minnesota rules, it is assumed that Lane will serve two years of his state sentence in prison and the rest on parole.

Mr Floyd, 46, died in May 2020 after Officer Derek Chauvin slammed him to the ground with a knee on his neck as the black man repeatedly said he could not breathe.

Protests in Minneapolis in May 2021 over the death of George Floyd

, AFP via Getty Images

Lane, who is white, held onto Mr. Floyd’s legs.

Jay Alexander Kueng knelt on Mr Floyd’s back, and Tou Thao interrupted the audience during a nine-and-a-half-minute restraint.

The murder, captured on widely viewed video, sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the world as part of a reckoning on racial injustice.

Wednesday’s sentencing hearing was held remotely. Lane appeared via video from the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood, a low-security federal prison camp in Littleton, Colorado.

Chauvin was convicted of manslaughter and manslaughter and was given a state sentence of twenty-two-and-a-half years in 2021. He also pleaded guilty to a federal count of violating Mr Floyd’s civil rights, and his state and federal sentences being served at the same time.

Kueng and Thao were also convicted of federal civil rights charges and sentenced to three and a half years in prison, respectively.

He has yet to report to federal prison, and is scheduled to stand trial in October on state charges of aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter.

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin

, AP

When Lane pleaded guilty earlier this year to aiding and abetting second-degree murder, he admitted that he intentionally helped stop Mr. Floyd in a way that created an unreasonable risk and resulted in his death Went.

As part of the plea agreement, a more serious count of aiding and abetting second degree unintentional murder was ruled out.

In his plea agreement, Lane admitted that he knew from his training that holding Mr Floyd in this way posed a serious risk of death, and that he heard Mr Floyd say he could not breathe, knowing that was that Mr Floyd had gone silent, had no pulse and appeared to have lost consciousness.

The plea agreement said Lane knew Mr Floyd should have been rolled over in his favor – and evidence shows he asked twice whether it should be done – but he assisted in restraint despite the risk. continued to do.

Lane agreed that the restraint was “unreasonable under the circumstances and constituted an unlawful use of force”.


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