A former Minneapolis police officer who pleaded guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd was sentenced Wednesday to three years.
Thomas Lane is already serving a 2 1/2-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights. When it comes to the state’s case, prosecutors and Lane’s attorneys had agreed to a recommended sentence of three years, and prosecutors agreed to allow him to serve that penalty at the same time as his federal sentence, and in a federal prison.
Wednesday’s sentencing hearing was held remotely. Lane appeared via video from the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood, the low-security federal prison camp in Littleton, Colorado.
Floyd, 46, died in May 2020 after Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pinned him to the ground with a knee on Floyd’s neck as the Black man repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. Lane, who is white, held down Floyd’s legs. J. Alexander Kueng, who is Black, knelt on Floyd’s back, and Tou Thao, who is Hmong American, kept bystanders from intervening during the 9 1/2-minute restraint.
The killing, captured on widely viewed bystander video, sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the globe as part of a reckoning over racial injustice.
Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter and was given a 22 1/2-year state sentence in 2021. He also pleaded guilty to a federal count of violating Floyd’s civil rights. His state and federal sentences are being served at the same time.
Kueng and Thao were also convicted on federal civil rights charges and were sentenced to three and 3 1/2 years, respectively. They have not yet reported to federal prison, and are scheduled to go to trial on state charges of aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter in October.