Thomas Lane, a former Minneapolis police officer, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for aiding and abetting manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. During the remote video hearing, Lane erroneously thought he would have to register as a predatory offender, reports the Associated Press. As the judge ended the hearing, Lane compared his sentence to Derek Chauvin, who also took part in the killing of Floyd. “That’s what Chauvin has to do. If I have a minimal role, why the (expletive) do I have to do that?” Lane was responding to the judge's instruction for Lane to register, "if required by law," something legal experts said told is the standard language used in Minnesota criminal cases.
Floyd, 46, died in May 2020 after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee. Floyd had repeatedly said he could not breathe. Lane had pinned down Floyd's legs. He already was serving a a 2 1/2 year federal sentence related to the Floyd case. Prosecutor Matt Frank said the lower state sentence was appropriate for Lane because he played a "somewhat less culpable role" in Floyd's death, and in some instances tried to de-escalate the situation and lessen the restraint taken upon Floyd during the arrest. Lane had previously pleaded guilty in May, admitting he knew he created an unreasonable risk and caused the death by the restraint used on Floyd. Lane will likely spend a total of two years behind bars, with good behavior and for the time already served. He reported to federal prison in Colorado on Aug. 30.