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Former cop Thomas Lane sentenced in state case over George Floyd’s death

Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

(MINNEAPOLIS) — A former Minneapolis police officer who pleaded guilty to his role in the 2020 death of George Floyd was sentenced Wednesday to three years in state prison.

Thomas Lane, 39, learned his fate over closed circuit television from a federal prison in Colorado, where he is already serving a 2 1/2-year sentence for violating the 46-year-old Black man’s civil rights.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill imposed the sentence on Lane Wednesday after defense attorneys and state prosecutors reached a plea agreement earlier this year in which they jointly recommended Lane receive a sentence of 36 months in prison. State Attorney General Keith Ellison said at the time that the plea agreement is an “important step toward healing the wounds of the Floyd family, our community, and the nation.”

Upon sentencing Lane, Cahill said he will receive 31 days credit for time he has already served. He will be allowed to serve his state prison time concurrently with his federal sentence.

Lane did not speak during the hearing.

He pleaded guilty in May to a state charge of aiding and abetting in second-degree manslaughter. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the top charge against him of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder.

“I now make no claim that I am innocent,” Lane said during his plea hearing in May.

Lane and two other former Minneapolis police officers, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, were convicted in February by a federal jury on charges of violating George Floyd’s civil rights by failing to intervene or provide medical aid as their senior officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on the back of Floyd’s neck, while he was handcuffed, for more than nine minutes in the May 25, 2020, incident.

Chauvin was convicted in state court last year of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison.

The 46-year-old Chauvin also pleaded guilty in December to federal charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights and was sentenced in July to 21 years in federal prison.

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