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Ex-officer involved in Floyd arrest says he twice asked he should be rolled on his side

Thomas Lane
Posted at 10:58 AM, Feb 21, 2022

ST. PAUL, Minn. — One of the four former police officers involved in the arrest of George Floyd that ended in Floyd's death in May 2020 took the stand Monday in a federal trial in which officers stand accused of violating Floyd's civil rights.

Thomas Lane testified Monday that he twice asked if officers should consider rolling Floyd on his side but was shot down by then-Officer Derek Chauvin, who had his knee on Floyd's neck.

Under questioning from defense attorney Earl Gray, Lane testified that the officers initially chose to put Floyd in a "hobble" hold because Floyd had been resistant and had hurt himself while sitting in the back of a squad car. Lane was tasked with holding Floyd's legs while another officer, J. Alexander Kueng, restrained his midsection, and Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck.

When Gray asked if Lane became concerned after Floyd stopped responding, Thomas testified that he was and noted that he twice asked if Floyd should be rolled on his side.

"Nope, we're good like this," Lane said Chauvin's response was, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Lane also said Chauvin shot down his suggestions by noting that an ambulance was on its way to the scene.

"It just seemed reasonable at the time," Lane said in court Monday.

Lane and Kueng were the first two officers to respond to a call that Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 bill at a local convenience store. Both were rookie cops — Lane was working his fourth-ever shift, Kueng was working his third shift.

Chauvin responded on the scene after the pair called for backup. Both have testified that they deferred to Chauvin's years of police experience.

Tou Thao, a fourth former officer, is also charged with violating Floyd's civil rights. He was tasked with controlling the crowd of bystanders that surrounded the scene while the three others restrained Floyd.

Chauvin was convicted of Floyd's murder last spring and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.