Friday, March 24, 2023

Ex-cop pleads guilty to murder in George Floyd’s death

MINNEAPOLIS ( Associated Press) — A former Minneapolis police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to a state charge of aiding in the murder of George Floyd and second-degree murder.

As part of the plea deal, Thomas Lane will have counts of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional homicide. Lane, along with Jay Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, have already pleaded guilty to federal counts of intentionally violating Floyd’s rights during the May 2020 sobriety that led to the death of the black man.

The state is recommending a three-year sentence for Lane and has agreed to allow her to serve time in federal prison.

His former aide, Derek Chauvin, pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights and faces a federal sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years. Chauvin had previously been convicted of state charges of manslaughter and manslaughter and sentenced to 22 1/2 years in the state case.

Lane’s petition comes during a week as the country focuses on the deaths of 10 black people in Buffalo, New York, at the hands of an 18-year-old white man who committed a racist, livestreamed shooting at a supermarket on Saturday.

Photo Provided By The Hennepin County Sheriff'S Office In Minnesota Shows Thomas Lane On June 3, 2020.
Photo provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota shows Thomas Lane on June 3, 2020.

Associated Press. Via Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office

Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, slammed him to the ground with a knee on his neck, as Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe. Lane and Kueng helped stop Floyd, who was handcuffed. Lane held onto Floyd’s legs and Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back. Thao prevented the audience from interrupting during the 9 1/2-minute restraint.

After a month-long trial focused on officers’ training and the culture of the police department, Lane, who is white, was convicted in February of federal charges along with Kueng and Thao. The trio was convicted of denying Floyd his right to medical care and Thao and Kueng were also convicted of failing to intervene to stop Chauvin during the murder, which was caught on video and worldwide. There was a protest.

Following his federal conviction, there was a question whether the state trial would go ahead. In an April 1 hearing in state court, prosecutors revealed they had offered to plead for all three men, but were turned down. At the time, Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, said it was hard for the defense to negotiate when the three still didn’t know what their federal sentences would be.

Kueng, who is black, and Thao, who is Hmong American, also plan to stand trial on state charges in June.

Watch the Associated Press’s full coverage of George Floyd’s death here:

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Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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