The former Minneapolis police officer who pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday. Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Thomas Lane to 36 months, shorter than the 41 to 57 months someone convicted of the same offense would typically serve, CBS Minnesota reported.
“There were moments where Mr. Lane tried to change what was going on that day, initially trying to deescalate that situation with Mr. Floyd, and even calling attention to maybe some better way to handle it,” Cahill said. “Those are different than what others at the scene did.”
Lane held Floyd’s legs down along with peer J. Alexander Kueng as Floyd’s convicted murderer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on the Black father’s neck for more than nine minutes. Ex-Officer Tou Thao blocked bystanders from helping Floyd. All four officers ended up with state and federal charges against them resulting from the deadly detainment. Chauvin pleaded guilty to federal charges of depriving Floyd of his civil rights—offenses Lane, Kueng, and Thao were also convicted of in federal court. Kueng was sentenced to three years in prison and Thao was sentenced to three-and-a-half years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Lane was sentenced to 30 months in the federal case.
His state sentence will be served concurrently with the federal time, tweeted civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
Lane was sentenced via a remote hearing from the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood, and the hearing took about eight minutes, CBS Minnesota reported. The hearing made official what Lane previously agreed to in his plea deal.
What apparently was news to Lane, however, was a requirement that he register as a predatory offender. “I gotta register as a predatory offender? What the f*** is that?” he reportedly asked his attorney, Earl Gray.
“I don’t know. I’ll look into it,” Gray responded. “I don’t understand that either.”
Minnesota law defines a predatory offender as a person who “has committed felony criminal sexual conduct or certain other designated sex crimes, kidnapping, or false imprisonment.”
“These crimes are often referred to as predatory offenses,” state House researchers wrote. “The law recognizes as predatory offenders those individuals who have committed these crimes under Minnesota law, federal law, or the law of other states.”
Lane continued to complain apparently having limited knowledge of the law. “That’s what Chauvin has to do, so if I have a minimal role why the f*** do I gotta do that?” Lane said, “Jesus Christ.”
Imagine helping slaughter someone, being charged minimally for your involvement, and having the audacity to complain about being considered a “predatory offender.”
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