Thomas Lane, one of the former Minneapolis officers involved in the killing of George Floyd, has pleaded guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, according to the Associated Press.
Lane is also one of the three cops, along with J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thoa, who have already been convicted in federal court for violating Floyd’s rights while former officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on his neck that led to his eventual death.
Kueng was the only Black officer on the scene and Tou Thou is the officer of Asian descent who is seen on bystander videos preventing witnesses from helping Floyd.
Prosecutors argued that three officers “chose to do nothing” as Chauvin was slowly killing Floyd.
Although Lane has not been sentenced, the state is recommending that he receive a sentence of three years and will serve that time in federal prison.
In a statement, Attorney General Keith Ellison said, “I am pleased Thomas Lane has accepted responsibility for his role in Floyd’s death. His acknowledgment he did something wrong is an important step toward healing the wounds of the Floyd family, our community, and the nation.”
He continued, “While accountability is not justice, this is a significant moment in this case and a necessary resolution on our continued journey to justice.”
Lane is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 21 for the state charge, according to the Associated Press.
This plea deal is a turnaround from just a month ago. In April, Lane, along with Kueng and Thoa all rejected the plea deals offered by the prosecuting attorneys.
Earlier this month, Chauvin’s plea deal was accepted by the judge overseeing the federal civil rights case and as a result, he will be sentenced to 20 to 25 years in federal prison and waived his right to contest the federal conviction.