Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in prison on a federal civil rights charge for his role in the killing of George Floyd.
Lane, 39, held Floyd’s legs as former police officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd for nearly 9 1/2 minutes. Two other officers, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, were also convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights.
US District Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced Lane for depriving Floyd of medical care as he died under Chauvin’s knee in May 2020.
‘Mr Lane this is a very serious offense, in which a life was lost,’ Magnuson said. ‘The fact that you did not get up and remove Mr Chauvin when Mr Floyd became unconscious is a violation of the law.’
Despite this, Magnuson also blamed the Minneapolis Police Department for sending Lane out with another rookie on the call.
Federal prosecutors had requested a sentence of up to 6 1/2 years, while Lane’s attorney asked for a little over two years. His attorney had argued he was the least culpable of the officers because he had asked his colleagues twice if Floyd should be turned onto his side.
Lane faced a separate sentencing from Kueng and Thao after of aiding and abetting manslaughter. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped the top charge against him of aiding and abetting unintentional manslaughter.
Thao and Kueng, who have rejected plea deals, are scheduled to go on trial in state court in October on charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin was sentenced to 21 years in prison on separate federal civil rights charges in Floyd’s killing earlier this month. He had already been sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison after being convicted in state court of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
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