One of the four former Minneapolis cops charged in connection with the police killing of George Floyd is a free man. For now, at least.
Thomas Lane, who was charged with felony aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, walked out of the Hennepin County jail on Wednesday after his bail of $750,000 was paid, ABC News reported.
Lane was arrested and booked last week after Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced the charges for the three officers who were assisting Derek Chauvin, the cop seen on video using his knee to apply deadly pressure to the neck of Floyd, who was handcuffed and unarmed face-down on the street. Chauvin was being held without bail but a bond was set for the other two officers still in jail.
Conditions of Lane’s bail include being monitored, not carrying a gun and no activities associated with law enforcement.
The rookie cop had been on the force for just four days when Chauvin killed Floyd. Lane’s lawyer says that his client is innocent because he tried to intervene, but Chauvin wouldn’t listen. Earl Gray, who is defending Lane, told NBC News that his client told Chauvin twice to “roll him over” in reference to Floyd. Lane was still in his probationary period as an officer and deferred to Chauvin, the 19-year veteran who was training the new cop.
Lane was bailed out just days after House Democrats introduced new legislation that would radically transform policing as we know it, including banning the chokehold and deadly neck-restraining technique that Chauvin used to kill Floyd. His freedom also comes one day after Floyd’s funeral and burial in Houston.
Gary said he plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges against Lane during the next scheduled hearing June 29.
Outside of some miracle for Chauvin, however, the charges against him are expected to stick.
Floyd’s preventable killing happened after Chauvin, Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao responded to a report of the nonviolent crime of forgery. Floyd was being cooperative with officers but Chauvin still decided to escalate matters by throwing him on the ground, handcuffing him and then pinning his head to the ground by putting his knee on his neck.
Initial footage of the police homicide only showed Chauvin and a distressed-looking Thao as bystanders warned they were killing Floyd. Days later it was revealed that Lane and Kueng were also on the scene, with Lane holding Floyd’s legs. Still, Lane is a free man as Floyd’s family mourns their relative’s life cut short.
This is America.