On Wednesday, a former Minneapolis police officer who pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting second-degree premeditated murder in the murder of George Floyd was sentenced to three years in prison. Thomas Lane is alreadyfor violating Floyd’s civil rights.
When it came to the state’s case, prosecutors and Lane’s attorneys agreed to a recommended three-year sentence — which is less than sentencing guidelines — and prosecutors agreed to allow him to serve that sentence at the same time as his federal sentence, and in a federal prison.
Judge Peter Cahill accepted the plea agreement, saying he would sentence Hart under the guidelines because he accepted responsibility.
“I think it was a very wise decision for you to accept responsibility and move on with your life,” Cahill said, while acknowledging that Floyd’s family was not able to move forward with their lives.
Under Minnesota rules, Lane is supposed to serve two years of his state sentence in prison, the remainder on supervised release, known as parole.
Floyd, 46, died in May 2020 afterwards, 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. Lynn, who is white, squeezes Floyd’s legs. c. Alexander Koenig, a black, knelt on Floyd’s back, and Tu Thao, a Hmong American, prevented bystanders from interfering with their 9 1/2 minute restraint.
The murder, which was recorded in a video widely viewed by a bystander, sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the world as part of an account against racial injustice.
The sentencing session was held on Wednesday remotely. Lane appeared via video from the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood, a low-security federal prison camp in Littleton, Colorado. The entire sentence took about eight minutes, CBS Minnesota.
He did not make any statement before the court before the verdict was pronounced. But after the hearing was adjourned, Lynn complained to his attorney that the judge had said he would have to register as a predatory criminal “if necessary.”
“Should I register as a predatory criminal? What is (expletive)?” Lynn said. He added, “That’s what Chauvin has to do. If I had a little role, why (expletive) should I do it?”
Gray told him he would look into it.
Chauvin was convicted of manslaughter and manslaughter and sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison in 2021. He also pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights, and his state and federal sentences are being executed at the same time.
King and Thao were also convicted on federal civil rights charges and sentenced to three and three and a half years in prison, respectively. They have not yet been reported to federal prison, and are due to stand trial on charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in October.
When Lane pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter earlier this year, he admitted that he had deliberately helped restrain Floyd in a way that caused unreasonable danger and caused his death. As part of the plea agreement, the more serious charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder was dismissed.
In the plea agreement, Lynn admitted that he had learned from his training that restraining Floyd in this way created a grave danger of death, that he had heard Floyd say he could not breathe, knew that Floyd had been silent, had no pulse and appeared to be suffering from unconsciousness.
The plea agreement says Lane knew Floyd should have been rolled onto his side – and evidence shows he asked twice if this should have been done – but continued to help with restraint despite the risks. Lane agreed that the restraint was “unreasonable under the circumstances and constitutes an unlawful use of force”.