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Thomas Lane

Thomas Lane: What to know about former Minneapolis officer facing federal charges in George Floyd’s killing

Who is cop Thomas Lane and what did he say on the George Floyd bodycam?

THOMAS Lane, is one of four men who were indicted back in May 2020 in connection with the murder of George Floyd.

Lane was later charged with aiding and abetting along with both second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Who is Thomas Lane and what was his role in George Floyd’s death?

Thomas Lane joined the department in February of 2019. He previously worked as a correctional officer at the Hennepin County juvenile jail and as a probation officer at a residential treatment facility for adolescent boys.

In the video of the death of George Floyd, Lane can be seen holding Floyd's feet to the ground while officer Derek Chauvin has his knee pinning Floyd to the floor for nine minutes.

A distressed Floyd can be seen struggling with officers minutes before his tragic death, saying, "I can't breathe."

Officer Lane can then be heard asking Chauvin whether Floyd should be rolled on his side.

When is Lane's trial?

Ex-cops Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao are all expected to appear by video conference for their arraignment on September 14, 2021.

All four men pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, September 14.

The trial is expected to be held in March 2022 and will be almost one year after Chauvin was convicted on second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

He is currently serving a 22 1/2 year sentence. 

What has Lane’s lawyer said about his involvement in George Floyd’s death?

Earl Gray, Lane’s lawyer, has argued the case against Lane is "weak," stating that his client asked Chauvin several times if Floyd should be rolled on his side.

Earl Gray told CNN's Chris Cuomo in June 2020: "He went into the ambulance, and he's the one that was doing CPR.

"He's a man of compassion, he's not a violent person."

The defense is expected to argue these points at trial next year.

Will their upcoming trial be televised?

Prior to their arraignment, lawyers for all of the defendants requested that cameras be prohibited from the court room after some witnesses claimed they would not testify if its broadcasted like Chauvin's was.

Attorney Thomas Plunkett, representing Kueng, claimed that  "cameras in the [Derek] Chauvin courtroom brought us to the dangerous pass where people are deterred from testifying for the defense because they fear the wrath of the crowd."

Prosecutors have since opposed the request and a judge is expected to rule on it at a later time.

"We think there is a First Amendment right to have cameras in trials, especially a trial this large, where it's this important, where there's this much public interest and there's no courtroom large enough to accommodate everyone who wants to attend," Leita Walker, an attorney for the media coalition, told KSTP.

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