One of the Minneapolis police officers involved in the deadly arrest of George Floyd two years ago has pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of aiding and abetting manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
The former police officer, Thomas Lane, entered the plea to second-degree manslaughter in Hennepin County court to Judge Peter Cahill, the same judge that presided over the criminal trial of Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for close to 10 minutes and caused his death during an arrest; he was convicted last year on state murder and manslaughter charges and sentenced to more than 22 years in prison.
Lane pleaded guilty on Wednesday in exchange for a three-year prison sentence to be served concurrently with his federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights. That sentence has not yet been imposed. Also as part of the plea, prosecutors will drop a charge of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder.
Former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng are also scheduled to stand trial next month on state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. All three were found guilty in federal court in February of violating Floyd’s civil rights during the May 2020 arrest. Last week, a federal judge accepted a plea deal for Chauvin in which the former officer will receive a sentence of between 20 and 25 years for violating Floyd’s civil rights.
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