Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for his role in the 2020 killing of George Floyd.
Lane, who pleaded guilty in May to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, is currently serving a 2½-year federal sentence in Floyd’s death as well.
Lane held down the legs of Floyd, an unarmed Black man, as fellow officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for about nine minutes during the May 2020 incident that triggered social justice and anti-police-brutality protests throughout the United States and beyond.
Wednesday’s sentencing came down after prosecutors and attorneys for Lane recommended three years for the ex-cop.
“I think it was a very wise decision for you to accept responsibility and move on with your life,” Minnesota District Court Judge Peter Cahill said of Lane’s plea deal during the remote hearing.
Prosecutors gave their approval for Lane to serve the state sentence at the same time as the federal one.
They also agreed for Lane, who attended Wednesday’s hearing over video from the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, Colo., to serve in a federal prison.
A charge of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder was dropped against Lane as part of the plea deal.
The judge said Lane would need to register as a predatory offender “if required,” which raised a question from the former officer after the hearing.
“I gotta register as a predatory offender? What the [expletive] is that?” Lane asked his attorney.
“That’s what Chauvin has to do. If I have a minimal role, why the [expletive] do I have to do that?”
Lane acknowledged in the plea deal that the restraint of Floyd was “unreasonable under the circumstances and constituted an unlawful use of force.”
Two other former Minneapolis officers, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, face trial next month on state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death.
Kueng and Thao prevented people from intervening at the scene on the day of Floyd’s death. Kueng received a three-year sentence on federal charges, while Thao was sentenced to 3½ years. Neither has reported to federal prison.
The four officers were each fired from the Minneapolis Police Department shortly after the death of Floyd, which was captured on camera. During Wednesday’s hearing, the judge said Floyd’s family members have been unable to move on with their lives following his death.
With News Wire Services