US

Ex-police officer pleads guilty to manslaughter in killing of George Floyd

A former Minneapolis police officer has pleaded guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd.

As part of the plea deal, Thomas Lane will have a count of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder dismissed.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill has agreed to a three-year jail sentence for him.

Other ex-officers Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng are scheduled to face trial in June on state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.

(Clockwise from top left) J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane,  Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin
Image:
(Clockwise from top left) J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin

The three were convicted in February on federal charges of depriving Floyd of his civil rights by failing to help him during the restraint that led to the black man’s death in May 2020.

Lane has not yet been sentenced in the federal case.

Floyd, 46, was killed after former policeman Derek Chauvin put a knee on his neck and pinned him to the ground, with the man saying he couldn’t breathe.

More on George Floyd

Lane and Kueng helped to restrain Floyd, who was handcuffed. Lane held down Floyd’s legs and Kueng knelt on his back. Thao kept bystanders from intervening during the restraint which lasted more than nine minutes.

Chauvin was convicted in June 2021 of state charges of murder and manslaughter and sentenced to 22-and-a-half years.

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Moment Chauvin was jailed in Minneapolis

He pleaded guilty in December 2021 to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights and faces a federal sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years after the judge accepted a plea deal earlier this month.

After a month-long federal trial in February, Lane, Thao and Kueng were convicted of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care and the latter two were also convicted of failing to intervene to stop Chauvin during the killing.

Speaking on Wednesday, Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office prosecuted the state case against Lane, said he was pleased Lane accepted responsibility for his role in Floyd’s death.

“His acknowledgment he did something wrong is an important step toward healing the wounds of the Floyd family, our community, and the nation,” Mr Ellison said.

“While accountability is not justice, this is a significant moment in this case and a necessary resolution on our continued journey to justice.”

Floyd’s death was caught on video and sparked racial injustice protests in Minneapolis and around the world.

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