Thomas Lane and two others convicted on violating rights of George Floyd

by Deon Osborne, Associate Editor
Officer who helped restrain George Floyd convicted for violating civil rights
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Correction: All three officers who assisted in the killing of George Floyd have been found guilty on all federal counts.

Thomas Lane, a former Minneapolis Police officer who helped restrain George Floyd as Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck until his dying breath, has been convicted for violating Floyd’s civil rights, the Associated Press has reported. The other two officers involved have also been convicted.

As the federal constitutional rights trial over Chauvin’s accomplices continues, George Floyd’s family has gained one more bit of justice.

Previously, former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted and sentenced to 22 ½ years in a state trial for his role in suffocating George Floyd. The public police lynching was recorded on camera by a brave young woman who went on to win an honorary pulitzer for capturing it on film.

Neither Thomas Lane nor officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao got off the hook after being found guilty of violating George Floyd’s constitutional rights.

Thomas Lane Officer who helped restrain George Floyd convicted on violating civil rights

FILE – This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on June 3, 2020, shows, from left, former Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. A state court trial for three former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd has been rescheduled for June 13, 2022, after both the defense and prosecutors requested a postponement. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

Thomas Lane, two others convicted

Recently, Thao testified that he relied on fellow officers to provide Floyd’s medicare care as he controlled traffic and onlookers.

In the viral video, Thao is seen engaging with the crowd as Floyd screamed for his mother until his dying breath.

His attorney, Robert Paule, asked Thao whether he saw any officers roll Floyd over and perform CPR. He said he did not and presumed that meant Floyd was breathing. So, he continued with “crowd control.”

“It indicated that Mr. Floyd was not in cardiac arrest,” said Thao, who later testified that he didn’t know there was anything seriously wrong with George Floyd – even after the ambulance took him away.

Meanwhile, George Floyd literally called for his mother as Chauvin killed him over the course of eight long minutes and 46 seconds.

history george floyd justice in policing act

The Bipartisan group of Senators working to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act has failed to come to an agreement (MGN photo).

No Justice in Policing bill

Despite the recent convictions of the three men, hopes for justice in the form of legislation have already been dashed. A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators failed to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina refused to support the bill, even after the National Fraternal Order of Police voiced support.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D) said in a statement at the time that “Even with law enforcement support and further compromises we offered” during the talks, Booker felt “there was still too wide a gulf with our negotiating partners and we faced significant obstacles to securing a bipartisan deal,” USA Today reported.

Ultimately,  the pace of new police killings continues unabated.

“My family and I have been given a life sentence. We will never be able to get George back,” George Floyd’s brother Philonise previously said.

Federal civil rights violations that result in death are punishable by up to life in prison or even death, but it’s unclear whether the men will receive the maximum sentence.

Lane, Kueng and Thao also face a separate state trial in June on charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.


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