As part of the plea deal, Thomas Lane will be acquitted of aiding and abetting in the second-degree manslaughter. Lane along with J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Tao have already been convicted on federal charges of intentionally violating Floyd’s rights during a May 2020 restraint of liberty that led to the death of a black man.
The state recommends sentencing Lane to three years in prison and has agreed to allow him to serve that term in federal prison.
Their former colleague Derek Shavin last year pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights and faces a federal term of 20 to 25 years. Shavin was previously found guilty of murder and manslaughter and sentenced to 22 and a half years in a state case.
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Lane’s request came 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 carried out a racist live shooting Saturday at a supermarket.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after Shaven, who is white, pressed him to the ground with his knees around his neck because Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe. Lane and Queng helped restrain Floyd, who was handcuffed. Lane held Floyd’s legs while Cueng knelt on Floyd’s back. Tao did not allow passers-by to interfere during the 9 1/2 minute limit.
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Lane, who is white, was convicted along with Kueng and Tao on federal charges in February after a month-long trial that focused on officer training and police department culture. All three were convicted of depriving Floyd of the right to medical care, and Tao and Queng were also convicted of failing to intervene to stop Shaven during the murder, which was videotaped and sparked protests around the world.
After their federal conviction, the question arose as to whether the trial would continue in the state. At a state hearing in April, prosecutors found they had offered all three men a plea deal, but they were turned down. At the time, Lane’s lawyer, Earl Gray, said the defense found it difficult to negotiate when the three did not yet know what their federal sentences would be.
Queng, who is black, and Tao, who is an American Hmong, are also due to appear in June on state charges.
The video in the media player above was used in a previous report.
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