A former Minneapolis police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday 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.
Lane, along with J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, has already been convicted on federal counts of willfully violating Floyd’s rights during the May 2020 restraint that led to the black man’s death.
Lane’s plea comes during a week when the country is focused on the deaths of 10 black people in Buffalo, New York, at the hands of an 18-year-old white man, who carried out the racist, livestreamed shooting Saturday in a supermarket.
Floyd, 46, died May 25, 2020, after former cop Derek Chauvin, who is white, pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck, as Floyd repeatedly said he couldn´t breathe.
Lane and Kueng helped to restrain Floyd, who was handcuffed. Lane held down Floyd’s legs and Kueng knelt on Floyd´s back. Thao kept bystanders from intervening during the 9 1/2-minute restraint.
The state is recommending a sentence of three years for Lane and has agreed to allow him to serve the time in a federal prison.
Chauvin, pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights and faces a federal sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years.
Lane, who is white, was convicted along with Kueng and Thao of federal charges in February, after a monthlong trial that focused on the officers’ training and the culture of the police department.
All three were convicted of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care and Thao and Kueng were also convicted of failing to intervene to stop Chauvin during the killing, which was caught on video and sparked protests around the world.