Ex-cop Lane gets 2 1/2 years on Floyd killing federal charge

https://apnews.com/article/death-of-george-floyd-police-minneapolis-thomas-lane-ffc19860301d277a32a18e1067bc4d4e

This is a complete travesty.    I understand why the family is upset.   I have seen this before when white rednecks ganged up on small individual gay men and beat them to death.   It was that way with one of my friends.    The court did everything they could to help and excuse the men, and they got the minimum time outside the guidelines.    The 6 of them beat a small man walking home from a night college class to death because they were afraid he would sex them.   That was their defense.   We were all angered the courts were protecting them, and I can understand why these family members are upset now.   This man helped.  He held the dying man’s legs.   The murder got 20 years or more.    This guy who helped him got 2.5 years?   Something needs to be done about this, an investigation, an appeal of the sentence.  This is clearly a racist finger on the scale of justice.    Hugs

FILE - This June 3, 2020, file photo, provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota, shows Thomas Lane is shown. A judge has sentenced Lane to 2 1/2 years in prison Thursday, July 21, 2022, on a federal civil rights charge for his role in the killing of George Floyd.  (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP, file)

A federal judge sentenced former Minneapolis police Officer Thomas Lane to 2 1/2 years in prison Thursday for violating George Floyd’s civil rights, calling Lane’s role in the restraint that killed Floyd “a very serious offense in which a life was lost” but handing down a sentence well below what prosecutors and Floyd’s family sought.

Judge Paul Magnuson’s sentence was just slightly more than the 27 months that Lane’s attorney had requested, while prosecutors had asked for at least 5 1/4 years in prison — the low end of federal guidelines for the charge Lane was convicted on earlier this year. He said Lane, who faces sentencing in September on state charges in Floyd’s killing, will remain free on bond until he must turn himself in Oct. 4.

Lane, who is white, held Floyd’s legs as Officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd’s neck with his knee for nearly 9 1/2 minutes on May 25, 2020. Bystander video of Floyd, who was Black, pleading that he could not breathe sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the world in a reckoning over racial injustice over policing.

Two other officers, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, were also convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights and will be sentenced later.

Floyd family members had asked Magnuson to give Lane the stiffest sentence possible, with brother Philonise Floyd rejecting the idea that Lane deserved any mercy for asking his colleagues twice if George Floyd should be shifted from his stomach to his side.

“Officer Lane did not intervene in one way or another,” he said.

Prosecutor Manda Sertich had also argued for a higher sentence, saying that Lane “chose not to act” when he could have saved a life.

“There has to be a line where blindly following a senior officer’s lead, even for a rookie officer, is not acceptable,” she said.

Magnuson told Lane the “fact that you did not get up and remove Mr. Chauvin when Mr. Floyd became unconscious is a violation of the law.” But he also held up 145 letters he said he had received supporting Lane, saying he had never received so many on behalf of a defendant. And he faulted the Minneapolis Police Department for sending Lane with another rookie officer on the call that ended in Floyd’s death.

In sentencing Chauvin earlier this month on civil rights charges in Floyd’s killing, Magnuson appeared to suggest that he bore the most blame in the case, telling Chauvin: “You absolutely destroyed the lives of three young officers by taking command of the scene.”

Lane did not speak at Thursday’s sentencing and neither he nor his attorney, Earl Gray, commented to reporters afterward. Prosecutors did not immediately comment afterward, but Philonise Floyd called the sentence “insulting” and said he didn’t understand why Lane — whom he called “an accessory to murder″ — didn’t get the toughest possible sentence.

“To me I think this whole criminal system needs to be torn down and rebuilt,” he said.

Lane’s attorney had argued that he twice asked his colleagues if Floyd should be turned on his side as officers restrained him face down and in handcuffs, as he said that he couldn’t breathe and eventually grew still.

Magnuson also said he would recommend that Lane serve his sentence at the federal prison in Duluth, a minimum-security facility about 2 1/2 hours from the Minneapolis area. The facility is classified as a “camp” and has no fence and has dormitory-style housing rather than cells. Prison assignments are made by the Bureau of Prisons.

Gray argued during the trial that Lane “did everything he could possibly do to help George Floyd.” He pointed out that Lane suggested rolling Floyd on his side so he could breathe, but was rebuffed twice by Chauvin. He also noted that Lane performed CPR to try to revive Floyd after the ambulance arrived.

Lane testified at trial that he didn’t realize how dire Floyd’s condition was until paramedics turned him over.

When Lane pleaded guilty in state court in May, Gray said Lane hoped to avoid a long sentence. “He has a newborn baby and did not want to risk not being part of the child’s life,” he said.

Chauvin pleaded guilty to separate federal civil rights charges in December in Floyd’s killing and in an unrelated case involving a Black teenager. That netted a 21-year sentence from Magnuson, toward the low end of the range of 20 to 25 years both sides agreed to under his plea deal.

Chauvin was already serving a 22 1/2-year state court sentence for second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His federal and state sentences are running concurrently.

Kueng pinned Floyd’s back during the restraint and Thao helped hold back an increasingly concerned group of onlookers outside a Minneapolis convenience store where Floyd, who was unarmed, tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.

Magnuson has not set sentencing dates for Thao, who is Hmong American, and Kueng, who is Black. But he has scheduled a hearing for Friday on objections by their attorneys to how their sentences should be calculated under the complicated federal guidelines. Prosecutors are seeking unspecified sentences for them that would be lower than Chauvin’s but “substantially higher” than Lane’s.

Thao and Kueng are free on bond pending sentencing. They have turned down plea deals and are scheduled to go on trial Oct. 24 on state charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

if this is not bias, anti-black, pro white, pro-cop bias then I do not think anything could be. This is why Black people in the US do not trust the police or the courts. I don’t either and I am white. Fuck all of this it needs to be changed. Hugs

2 thoughts on “Ex-cop Lane gets 2 1/2 years on Floyd killing federal charge

  1. In your intro, you wrote … they were afraid he would sex them.

    Last night I was watching a movie where two men were boat fishing. One was gay, the other (older) guy wasn’t and was not aware of his fishing partner’s preferences. At some point, the gay guy happened to say something that revealed his sexual leaning. The other guy was aghast … and then went bananas … and almost threw the gay guy out of the boat. He ended the fishing trip right then and there and told the gay guy not to “come around again.”

    The movie proceeds and as it turns out, the straight guy decides to put his feelings aside (he wanted a fishing partner) and “made up” with the gay guy but warned him the subject was closed and not to be discussed ever again. Now, here comes the clincher and why some might worry that they would be “sexed.”

    As time went on, the two became good friends and even got together for dinner and drinks. On one of these occasions, the gay guy grabbed his friend and planted a wet one on him. Of course the straight guy exploded and fist-punched the gay guy to the floor.

    Anyway, my point to all this is that while such events may not happen in “real life,” it sure does in the movies! And lots of people often mistake the two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Nan. In the 1990s there was a legal defense called gay panic. Most states no longer allow this defense.
      It was used by the big, large thugs that beat little Mathew Shepard to death and left him hanging on a fence. Hugs

      The LGBTQ+ “panic” defense strategy is a legal strategy that asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression is to blame for a defendant’s violent reaction, including murder. It is not a free-standing defense to criminal liability, but rather a legal tactic used to bolster other defenses. When a perpetrator uses an LGBTQ+ “panic” defense, they are claiming that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity not only explains—but excuses—a loss of self-control and the subsequent assault. By fully or partially acquitting the perpetrators of crimes against LGBTQ+ victims, this defense implies that LGBTQ+ lives are worth less than others.

      The gay panic defense or homosexual advance defense is a legal strategy in which a defendant claims to have acted in a state of violent, temporary insanity, committing assault or murder, because of unwanted same-sex sexual advances, typically from men. A defendant may allege to have found the same-sex sexual advances so offensive or frightening that they were provoked into reacting, were acting in self-defense, were of diminished capacity, or were temporarily insane, and that this circumstance is exculpatory or mitigating.

      The trans panic defense is a closely related legal strategy applied in cases of assault, manslaughter, or murder of a transgender individual with whom the assailant(s) had engaged in or was close to engaging in sexual relations with and claim to have been unaware that the victim was transgender, producing in the attacker an alleged trans panic reaction, often a manifestation of homophobia and transphobia.

      Like

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