On September 21, 2022, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane to three years imprisonment based upon his May 18, 2022, guilty plea to aiding and abetting manslaughter of George Floyd.
That guilty plea agreement included the prosecution’s agreeing to a three-year sentence, dropping the more serious count of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder and agreeing to Lane’s service of the state sentence in the federal penitentiary where Lane was already imprisoned for his federal conviction after trial for depriving Mr. Floyd of his civil rights.
Before Judge Cahill imposed the sentence, Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matt Frank stated that the three-year sentence was below the state sentencing guidelines of 41 to 57 months because Lane played a “somewhat less culpable role” in Floyd’s death than Derek Chauvin by twice suggesting to Chauvin, who was the officer in charge, that Floyd should be turned over on his side.
Also before imposition of the sentence, attorney Frank read a statement from the Floyd family that said, “Talk about move on? Wow. Really? Me and my family would love to move on, but there’s just not a lot of accountability. We will always show up for George Floyd, but never move on.”
In remarks about the sentence, Judge Cahill said that Lane would have to register as a predatory offender “if required by law.” This prompted a subsequent response by Lane: “I gotta register as a predatory offender?” when his role was “minimal” when compared with Chauvin’s. “What the [explicative] is that? That’s what Chauvin has to do. If I have a minimal role, why the [explicative] do I have to do that?” [After the hearing, legal experts told journalists that this was standard language in Minnesota criminal cases, but that neither Lane nor Chauvin would be required to do so.]
Judge Cahill also stated, “I think it was a very wise decision for [Lane] to accept responsibility and move on with your life.”
 Ex-cop Lane gets 3 years for role in George Floyd’s death, StarTribune (Sept. 21, 2022); Tumin & Bogel-Burroughs, Former Minneapolis Officer Sentenced to Three Years in George Floyd Case, N.Y. Times (Sept. 21, 2022); Forliti, Ex-cop Lane gets 3 years for role in George Floyd’s death, AP News (Sept. 21, 2022). See also Ex-Officer Thomas Lane Pleads Guilty to State Charge of Aiding and Abetting Manslaughter of George Floyd, dwkcommentaries.com (May 18, 2022); Comment: More Details on Thomas Lane’s Guilty Plea, dwkcommentaries.com (May 19, 2022).