Ex-Minneapolis police Officer Thomas Lane sentenced to 3 years for role in George Floyd’s death

MINNEAPOLIS — A judge on Wednesday sentenced former Minneapolis police Officer Thomas Lane to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, according to multiple reports.

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Lane pleaded guilty in May as part of a deal with prosecutors. He is already serving a 2 1/2-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights.

During a sentencing hearing Wednesday, Judge Peter Cahill said he was sentencing Lane below the guidelines because he accepted responsibility for his role in Floyd’s death, The Associated Press reported.

“I think it was a very wise decision for you to accept responsibility and move on with your life,” Cahill said, according to the AP.

The hearing Wednesday was held remotely with Lane appearing from the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, Colorado, WCCO-TV reported. After the hearing, Lane could be heard questioning his attorney about a requirement that he register as a predatory offender as part of his sentence, according to KMSP.

“What the (expletive) is that?” he asked, according to WCCO. “That’s what (former Minneapolis police Officer Derek) Chauvin has to do, so if I have a minimal role why the (expletive) do I gotta do that?”

A jury last year convicted Chauvin of second-degree unintentional murder and other charges in connection to Floyd’s death. Police had detained Floyd outside a convenience store in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. In video of the encounter, Floyd could be heard struggling to breathe and calling for his mother as Chauvin pressed his knee to the 46-year-old’s neck and back for 9 1/2 minutes.

Lane and then-police Officer J. Alexander Kueng helped to restrain Floyd, while then-Officer Tou Thao held back bystanders and kept them from intervening, according to evidence presented during Chauvin’s trial.

Floyd was pronounced dead after the incident.

Chauvin was subsequently sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for his role in Floyd’s death and to 21 years in federal prison for violating Floyd’s civil rights. In July, a federal judge sentenced Kueng to three years and Thao to 3 1/2 years in prison for violating Floyd’s civil rights. The pair are expected to face a jury in October on state charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.