A former Minneapolis police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the murder of George Floyd.
As part of the plea deal, Thomas Lane will have one count of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter dismissed.
The state recommends a three-year sentence for Lane and has agreed to allow him to serve his sentence in federal prison.
Lane, along with J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, were due to stand trial in June on state charges.
The trio were convicted earlier this year on federal charges of willfully violating Floyd’s rights during the May 2020 detention that led to the black man’s death.
Their former colleague, 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 murder and manslaughter and sentenced to 22½ years in the state case.
Federal sentences have yet to be handed down
Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pinned him to the ground with one knee on his neck as the black man repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe . Lane and Kueng helped restrain Floyd, who was handcuffed. Lane held down Floyd’s legs and Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back. Thao stopped bystanders from intervening during the 9½-minute detention.
Lane was found guilty along with Kueng and Thao of federal charges in February, after a month-long trial focusing on officer training and police department culture.
All three were found guilty of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care, and Thao and Kueng were also found guilty of failing to intervene to arrest Chauvin during the killing, which was caught on camera and sparked protests. in the whole world.
After their federal sentencing, there were questions about whether the state trial would continue. At an April hearing in state court, prosecutors revealed they had offered plea deals to the three men, but they were turned down. At the time, Lane’s attorney, Earl Grey, said it was difficult for the defense to negotiate when the three still did not know what their federal sentences would be.
Lane’s plea comes for a week as the country focuses on the deaths of 10 black people in Buffalo, NY, at the hands of an 18-year-old white man, who carried out the racist shooting live Saturday at a supermarket.