Ex-officer to be sentenced in George Floyd killing

Race in America

(NewsNation) — A former Minneapolis police officer who pleaded guilty to charges in relation to the death of George Floyd during a 2020 arrest is set to be sentenced Wednesday.

Thomas Lane pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, and prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed on a recommended three-year sentence. Lane and J. Alexander Kueng helped restrain Floyd as their senior officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.

Lane has already been sentenced to two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty in a separate federal case, in which he faced charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights. Kueng was sentenced to three years after being found guilty of similar federal charges, as was Tou Thao, the fourth officer who was on the scene that day.

Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison after being convicted in state court on charges of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He also pleaded guilty to federal charges of civil rights violations.

With Lane’s sentencing Wednesday, all four of the officers involved will have been charged, convicted and sentenced to prison. Lane is serving his federal sentence at a low-security prison camp in Colorado. As part of his plea agreement, a more serious count of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder was dismissed.

Thao and Kueng have been ordered to report to federal prison Oct. 4, though they have upcoming trials on state charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. They rejected plea deals that would have resulted in three-year sentences and are preparing for trial beginning Oct. 24.

During the arrest, Lane held down Floyd’s legs, Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Thao kept bystanders from intervening. Floyd’s death sparked protests across the country that evolved into a broader movement for police reform.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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