Update: Ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Thomas Lane Sentenced To 3 Years In Jail For His Role In The Murder Of George Floyd

Update: Ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Thomas Lane Sentenced To 3 Years In Jail For His Role In The Murder Of George Floyd


Update: According to reports, former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday (Sept. 21) on a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd’s death. Thomas Lane, who is currently in federal prison for violating Floyd’s civil rights during the 2020 incident, appeared remotely at the hearing. He began his federal 2.5-year sentence in a Bureau of Prisons facility in Colorado late last month. He reportedly did not address the court today (Sept. 21).



Original Story: New details have recently surfaced surrounding one of the officers responsible for the death of George Floyd.

The former Minneapolis Police officer who held down George Floyd’s legs during his fatal 2020 restraint pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday (May 18) as part of a plea deal.

Thomas Lane, 39, is one of three former Minneapolis officers convicted of violating George Floyd’s civil rights and faces multiple federal sentences such as; aiding and abetting, second-degree manslaughter, and aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder. According to reports, in exchange for Thomas Lane’s guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the murder charge.  The state and Lane’s attorneys agreed to a recommended sentence of three years ( 36 months). Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office prosecuted the case, issued a statement saying he was pleased that Thomas Lane accepted responsibility for his role in Floyd’s death. He explained,

“I am pleased Thomas Lane has 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. While accountability is not justice, this is a significant moment in this case and a necessary resolution on our continued journey to justice.”

Thomas Lane

Defense attorney Earl Gray said Thomas Lane agreed to plead guilty because he faced a mandatory 12-year sentence if he were to be convicted of the murder charge.
“My client did not want to risk losing the murder case so he decided to plead guilty to manslaughter with a 3-year sentence, to be released in 2 years, and the murder case dismissed. The sentence will be concurrent with his federal sentence and he will serve his time in a federal institution. He has a newborn baby and did not want to risk not being part of the child’s life.”
Thomas Lane was among three former officers already convicted in a federal court in February for violating George Floyd’s civil rights. A sentencing date has not been set in that case. Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng were also convicted of failing to intervene to stop Derek Chauvin during the killing.

J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Kiernan Lane, Tou Thao

As previously reported, on May 25, 2020, Derek Chauvin responded to a call about the possible use of a counterfeit $20 bill at a local grocery store. George Floyd was accused of using the bill to purchase a pack of cigarettes. The police officer buried his knee into George’s neck, eventually resulting in his death. The incident was captured on multiple cell phone recordings. In 2021, Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts of murder and manslaughter.

Derek Chauvin

 Floyd family attorneys Ben Crump, Antonio Romanucci, and Jeff Storms were thankful for the guilty plea but said there was still more to be done.
“Today’s guilty plea by former officer Thomas Lane brings the Floyd family another step towards closure for the horrific and historic murder of George Floyd. While today is a step in the right direction, we only need to look to the recent and tragic killing of Amir Locke to understand that the City of Minneapolis has a long journey ahead to regain the trust of its citizenry.”

Ben Crump

Thomas Lane was not taken into custody on Wednesday, however, a presentence investigation was ordered. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 21 on the state charge.

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Authored by: Monique Nicole