Thomas Lane is sentenced to 2.5 years for violating George Floyd’s civil rightsJuly 21, 2022
“Mr. Lane, this is a very serious offense, in which a life was lost,” Magnuson said, according to The Los Angeles Times. “The fact that you did not get up and remove Mr. Chauvin when Mr. Floyd became unconscious is a violation of the law.”
Floyd had been accused of providing a counterfeit $20 bill when officers were called to the scene on May 25, 2020, outside of the Cup Foods store in Minneapolis.
J. Alexander Kueng, a biracial ex-officer also accused in Floyd’s death, held Floyd down along with Lane while former cop Tou Thao blocked bystanders from providing Floyd with any aid.
Thao had served as an officer for more than eight years at the time of Floyd’s death, but Lane and Kueng had only been on the job a few days.
Kueng and Thao, who were also convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights, are expected to be sentenced later, the AP reports.
The former officers have claimed that they were trying to detain Floyd safely but that he resisted. Lane said in testimony covered by NBC News that when officers got Floyd into the car, he started bashing his face on the back partition, so they opted to put him on the ground.
Lane testified that later in the detainment, he checked Floyd’s ankle for a pulse and couldn’t find one. When paramedics arrived seconds later, he saw Floyd’s face for the first time since they removed him from the squad car.
“He didn’t look good,” Lane said.
He testified that he did chest compressions on Floyd, offered to ride with paramedics to the hospital, and suggested officers roll Floyd on his side “to get a better assessment.”
Lane also had going for him 145 letters of support, which Magnuson said was an unmatched level of support in his experience. He said two letters that were particularly telling were from doctors whose diagnoses were tossed out by a senior physician, “to disastrous result to the patient,” the AP reported.
“It speaks loudly to this case,” Magnuson said.
Prosecutor Manda Sertich, who pushed for a sentence of 5-1/4 years, said Lane “chose not to act.” “There has to be a line where blindly following a senior officer’s lead, even for a rookie officer, is not acceptable,” she said.
Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, called the sentence “insulting.”
“If it was me and that was accessory to murder, they would’ve gave me the maximum amount of time,” he said in statements The New York Times covered. “And you’re a police officer who was sworn to protect, who took an oath, and you didn’t get the maximum amount of time.”
Lane and his attorney, Earl Gray, didn’t speak to reporters after the sentencing.
Lane will be allowed to remain free on bond until Oct. 4, when he is ordered to turn himself in. He is expected to be sentenced in September on state charges, the AP reported.