Two down, two to go: Lane pleads guilty to manslaughter in George Floyd’s death

Thomas K. Lane leaves a pretrial hearing in downtown Minneapolis on September 11, 2020. Lane on May 18, 2022, plead guilty to aiding and abetting George Floyd’s murder.

Former Minneapolis Police officer Thomas Lane pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting George Floyd’s manslaughter on Wednesday morning as part of a plea bargain. This comes after being convicted in federal court for violating Floyd’s civil rights. 

“I am pleased Thomas Lane has accepted responsibility for his role in Floyd’s death,” said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison in a statement. “His acknowledgment he did something wrong is an important step toward healing the wounds of the Floyd family, our community, and the nation.”

Almost two years ago to this day, on May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered as former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is currently serving a 22-and-a-half-year sentence in state prison, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. Lane and J. Alexander Kueng held Floyd’s body on the ground. 

“Given the weight of the evidence against him, including bystander video, he would almost certainly have been found guilty of all charges had the case against him gone to trial,” said Communities United Against Police Brutality in a statement, adding they were not surprised by the outcome.

It is unclear if the Floyd family consented to the plea bargain. Representatives from Attorney Ben Crump or Lane’s attorney commented as of press time.

The plea bargain calls for Lane to spend three years in federal prison, and for his aiding and abetting murder charge to be dismissed. He will be sentenced at 9 am on September 21, 2022.

The two remaining officers involved in Floyd’s murder, Kueng and Tou Thao, who performed crowd control and prevented passersby from providing medical help that day, will stand trial beginning June 13. All four officers have yet to be sentenced for their federal convictions.

The story was updated with comments from Communities United Against Police Brutality.