Thomas Lane, a former Minneapolis police officer who pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison.
On May 25, 2020, Ryan held Floyd’s legs and yelled that he couldn’t breathe, while another former police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9.5 minutes . Lane pleaded guilty in May to a state charge of abetting second-degree manslaughter. State prosecutors and Lane’s attorneys jointly recommended a three-year sentence.
The hearing was held via WebEx to accommodate Lane, who is serving 30 months in prison at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Englewood, Colorado, after a jury found him guilty of federal charges of violating Floyd’s rights by failing to provide him with medical care. Chauvin took care after kneeling on his neck. He reports to the facility sometime around August. 28, according to a court order published on Tuesday. The media or other members of the public, including Lane or Floyd’s family, are not allowed to attend the hearing in person at the Hennepin County Government Center. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank read a statement on behalf of Floyd’s family.
A charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder was dismissed as part of Lane’s plea deal, a spokesman for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison previously said his office prosecuted the case.
Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, said in May that his client, who had a newborn baby, “didn’t want to risk not being a part of the child’s life” or possibly lose the murder case and face 12 years of coercion sex sentence.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill told Lane at the hearing that Lane “accepted responsibility” and moved on with his life was a “sensible decision.” Cahill said Lane’s state sentence will run concurrently with his federal sentence, which he will serve at a federal agency.
Evidence shows Lane asked Floyd twice if he should turn sideways, but assisted in keeping him face down on the sidewalk despite the risks.
Two other former police officers, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, are scheduled to stand trial next month on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Kueng helps restrain Floyd, while Thao stops concerned bystanders. They were offered the same deal as Ryan, but turned it down last month.
Senior Sergeant Chauvin at the scene was convicted in April 2021 of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison in June 2021.
Coon and Lane helped Chauvin restrain Floyd outside the convenience store after the clerk said Floyd used the fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes. Floyd, 46, is black. Chauvin and Lane are white, Kueng is black and Thao is Hmong American. Video of Floyd’s final moments captured by some bystanders has sparked protests around the world against police brutality and systemic racism.
Kueng, Lane and Thao were convicted in February of federal crimes depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under a government mandate, but they failed to provide him with medical assistance. In addition, Kueng and Thao were found guilty of failing to intervene when Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck to kill Floyd.
Last year, Chauvin pleaded guilty to one federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights. He was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison in July.
“I really don’t know why you’re doing this. But it’s totally wrong to put your knee on another person’s neck until they expire, and you have to be severely punished for that kind of behavior,” said the U.S. District Court in Sao Paulo. Judge Paul Magnussen. Paul said while imposing the sentence. He added that Chauvin “absolutely destroyed the lives of three other young officers involved”.