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A former Minneapolis police officer on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter for his role in the May 2020 killing of George Floyd, whose death sparked nationwide protests against alleged racially biased policing.
The Associated Press reported, “As part of the plea deal, Thomas Lane will have a count of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder dismissed.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison issued a statement saying that Lane’s “acknowledgment he did something wrong is an important step toward healing the wounds of the Floyd family, our community, and the nation.”
“While accountability is not justice, this is a significant moment in this case and a necessary resolution on our continued journey to justice,” Ellison claimed.
The Daily Wire had previously reported that Lane and two other former officers were convicted on federal charges in February of showing deliberate indifference to Floyd’s medical needs during the arrest, according to CNN.
The jury convicted the other former officers, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, of an additional charge of failing to intervene to stop former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted in April last year of murdering Floyd.
Chauvin was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison. He was facing a maximum penalty of 40 years behind bars after being convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
According to the AP, Thao’s attorney, Robert Paule, was in the courtroom for Lane’s plea hearing on Wednesday. When asked if his client would also take a plea deal, Paule said, “No comment.” Thao and Keung are set to go on trial on state charges next month.
The Star Tribune added, “In exchange for the plea, Lane agreed to a sentence of three years, to be served concurrently with his federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights. That sentence has yet to be handed down.”