source: Buffalo News
published: 21 September 2022
A former Minneapolis police officer who pleaded guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd was sentenced Wednesday to three years.
Thomas Lane is already serving a 2 1/2-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights. When it comes to the state’s case, prosecutors and Lane’s attorneys had agreed to a recommended sentence of three years – which is below the sentencing guidelines – and prosecutors agreed to allow him to serve that penalty at the same time as his federal sentence, and in a federal prison.
Judge Peter Cahill accepted the plea agreement, saying he would sentence lane below 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 the Floyd family has not been able to move on with theirs.
Under Minnesota rules, it’s presumed Lane would serve two years of his state sentence in prison, and the rest on supervised release, commonly known as parole.
Floyd, 46, died in May 2020 after Officer Derek Chauvin, 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. Lane, who is white, held down Floyd’s legs. J. Alexander Kueng, who is Black, knelt on Floyd’s back, and Tou Thao, who is Hmong American, kept bystanders from intervening during the 9 1/2-minute restraint.