Former Minneapolis police Officer Thomas Lane was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in prison on a federal civil rights charge for his role in the killing of George Floyd, reports the Associated Press. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced Lane for his conviction of depriving Floyd of medical care as he lay dying under Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee in May 2020.
The killing of Floyd, who was Black, prompted protests in Minneapolis and around the world over racial injustice in policing, and launched a national reckoning on race. Lane, who is white, held Floyd’s legs as Chauvin pinned Floyd for nearly 9 1/2 minutes. Two other officers, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, were convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights and will be sentenced later. Federal prosecutors had asked for a sentence of up to 6 1/2 years for Lane, in line with federal guidelines. Lane’s attorney asked for a little over two years, arguing that Lane was the least culpable of the officers in part because he had asked his colleagues twice whether Floyd should be turned on his side.