Ex-Minn. Cop Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for George Floyd's Death - Rolling Stone
×
×
Home Culture Culture News

Ex-Minneapolis Cop Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for George Floyd’s Death

Thomas Lane, one of three former officers accused of aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder, previously accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter

thomas lane george floyd manslaughter plea dealthomas lane george floyd manslaughter plea deal

Thomas Lane in June 2020.

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Thomas Lane, the former Minneapolis cop who held down George Floyd’s legs while he was murdered by Derek Chauvin, has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after previously pleading guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. 

Thursday’s sentencing came just over two months after Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced the plea deal with Lane on Wednesday, May 18. As part of the deal, prosecutors dismissed the second-degree unintentional murder charge that Lane was also facing in relation to Floyd’s death.

Ellison’s office and Lane’s defense attorney recommended a sentence of just 36 months; the judge overseeing the case instead handed Lane a 30-month sentence. Prosecutors also agreed that Lane will be allowed to serve his state sentence at a federal institution concurrently with the sentence he receives after being found guilty of violating Floyd’s civil rights earlier this year.

“Today, my thoughts are once again with the victims, George Floyd and his family,” Ellison said in a statement. “Nothing will bring Floyd back. He should still be with us today. 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.”

Lane’s lawyer did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment, though he said in a statement shared with CNN: “My client did not want to risk losing the murder case so he decided to plead guilty to manslaughter with a three-year sentence, to be released in two 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.”

Lane, along with Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, were all charged with aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder in June 2020. Lane and Kueng both helped restrain Floyd while he was handcuffed, with Lane holding down Floyd’s legs at one point. In a video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s back, Lane was heard expressing some concern and asking whether Floyd should be rolled over onto his side, which Chauvin rejected. Neither Lane, Thao, nor Kueng tried to stop Chauvin as he murdered Floyd. 

Thao and Kueng are still set to go to trial on the state charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. That trial is slated to begin on June 13.

Thao and Kueng, along with Lane, were also convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights back in February. Chauvin was also originally charged in the federal case but ended up pleading guilty as part of a plea deal. Chauvin is currently serving a 22-and-a-half-year sentence after being found guilty of murdering Floyd.

This story was updated on July 21, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. to reflect Thomas Lane’s prison sentence.

In This Article: Derek Chauvin, George Floyd

Newswire

Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.