Ex-Minneapolis cop pleads guilty to manslaughter in George Floyd’s death
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane pleaded guilty on Wednesday to aiding and abetting manslaughter in former officer Derek Chauvin's killing of George Floyd in 2020.
Why it matters: As part of his plea deal, Lane agreed to a recommended sentence of three years that will be served concurrently with his federal sentence for violating Floyd's civil rights, though that sentence has yet to be issued.
- The Hennepin County District Court also dropped a charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
- Lane's guilty plea comes a week before the two-year anniversary of Floyd's murder, which set off nationwide protests against police brutality.
What they're saying: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement that he is "pleased Thomas Lane has 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," Ellison, whose office is prosecuting the case, added.
- "While accountability is not justice, this is a significant moment in this case and a necessary resolution on our continued journey to justice."
Driving the decision: Earl Gray, Lane's attorney, told the AP that his client agreed to the plea deal avoid the possibility of a longer prison sentence.
- “He has a newborn baby and did not want to risk not being part of the child’s life,” Gray said in a statement.
What's next: The two other officers who were at the scene that day, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, are still set to stand trial on criminal charges next month.