Thomas Lane, one of the 4 officers arrested after the death of George Floyd, learned his sentence Wednesday, after being charged with manslaughter. Wednesday, Lane learned he will serve three years for manslaughter – this following Lane previously pleading guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Since the death of George Floyd, Lane had already been serving a 2 ½ year federal sentence for violating George Floyd’s civil rights. FOX 9 Minneapolis has reported that due to the previous time served, Wednesday’s sentencing will not add additional jail time for Thomas Lane.
In reaching a plea deal with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office, he agreed to plead guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter under the contingency that he get a three-year state sentence to be served at the same time as his federal sentence.
Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter and was given a 22 1/2-year state sentence in 2021. He also pleaded guilty to a federal count of violating Floyd’s civil rights. His state and federal sentences are being served at the same time.
Kueng and Thao were also convicted on federal civil rights charges and were sentenced to three and 3 1/2 years, respectively. They have not yet reported to federal prison, and are scheduled to go to trial on state charges of aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter in October.
Like for Chauvin’s state trial, Floyd’ friend, Morries Lester Hall, has indicated that he plans on pleading the Fifth to avoid testifying in the upcoming trial for Thao and Kueng. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, had argued that Hall’s testimony might reveal that he and Floyd were using drugs in the area before police arrived at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue while responding to a report of Floyd allegedly using a counterfeit $20 at the Cups Food convenience store.
Nelson claimed that Floyd could have died of a drug overdose. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office ruled that Floyd died of cardiac arrest, but attorneys representing Floyd’s family maintained that Floyd died of asphyxia. In the federal trial for the three other officers on the scene, a toxicology expert told the court that Floyd died of asphyxia after Chauvin restricted his airway for more than nine minutes.
This ruling is roughly what was expected – with Chauvin serving by far the most time in prison due to his role in Floyd’s death, where he had his knee on Floyd’s back/neck for over 9 minutes, while the other 3 former police officers are punished mainly for their roll in not preventing this death to occur.