Thomas Lane, 38 years old, said that he tried to help Floyd when paramedics arrived on the scene in May 2020. Lane was charged along with two other ex-officers for violating Floyd’s civil rights.
Three former Minneapolis police officers were charged in federal court with violation of George Floyd’s civil Rights. One of them, a Minneapolis cop officer, choked back tears Monday as he testified that he attempted to help paramedics after Floyd’s pulse was lost.
Thomas Lane claimed that he performed chest compressions on Floyd as paramedics arrived. He was preparing to load Floyd into an ambulance, and that he offered his help.
“Why did your attorney want you to help?” Earl Gray, his attorney, asked.
Lane, 38, stated that “just based on how Mr. Floyd turned over,” he said. His voice broke as he recalled the events. “I felt that they might need help.
Lane was the last of the three ex-officers to testify in the federal trialin Floyd’s death. This was a Black man who was killed by police on May 25, 2020. This prompted worldwide protests against racism.
His emotional reaction was different from those of his co-defendants, former officers J. Alexander Kueng (28), and Tou Thao (36), whose testimony was the first that the public had heard from any of them over the past week. Monday was a rest day for the defense, and closing arguments were expected to resume Tuesday.
Lane, Kueng, and Thao were charged with Floyd’s constitutional rights violations while acting under government authority. Their fellow officer Derek Chauvin was seen knelt on Thao’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes.
Thao and Kueng are also charged with failing to intervene in order to stop Chauvin using excessive force.
Floyd, 46, was a suspect in a fake bill case. The officers were responding to a call about a counterfeit bill from a Powderhorn Park convenience store in Minneapolis. Both rookie officers and partners in the call, Lane and Kueng were on Floyd’s side as Chauvin applied severe pressure to his neck, and Floyd gasped for air. Thao was in charge of crowd control.
The day after Floyd’s passing, all four officers were fired. Lane testified Monday that he discovered he was fired while sitting in Subway’s parking lot.
He said, “I’ve just read a news article.”
Lane testified that they called paramedics because Floyd was showing signs of “HTMO_EXCITED DRIVE ” a syndrome many medical associations don’t recognize but is linked to excessive force and police-involved death.
Lane stated that he tried to calm the situation when Floyd was placed in the back of a squad vehicle. However, Floyd started to smash the back partition. They then moved Floyd to the ground.
Lane claimed that he asked Floyd twice if Floyd should be rolled onto him, but was denied by Chauvin. He said that the crowd started shouting, “He’s not breathing!”
Kueng claimed he couldn’t find a pulse. Lane testified that Floyd was also checked for one but was unsuccessful. He said that paramedics arrived “seconds later.” Lane was able to see Floyd’s face for the first times since they had taken him out of the squad car.
Lane stated, “He didn’t look good.”
He stated that he attempted CPR before paramedics used a mechanical device.
Lane stated that he didn’t suggest Floyd be on his side for asphyxia but “I just wanted a better assessment.”
Samantha Trepel, federal prosecutor, also stressed that Kueng could not find a pulse for 1 1/2 minutes before an ambulance arrived.
Lane replied, “It didn’t feel like that.”
After nearly three weeks of testimony by use-of force experts, police officers, and witnesses, the defense started its case last week.
The attorneys representing the police officers sought to distance themselves from Floyd’s actions while he was kneeling on Chauvin.
Thomas Plunkett, Kueng’s attorney, has focused on Kueng’s inexperience while Gray said to the jury that Lane had done “everything he could” to help Floyd.
Federal prosecutors argued that Floyd’s death was a result of Floyd’s training and that neither officer should have been hindered by his ability to intervene.
Thao, Kueng, and Lane could face life imprisonment if they are found guilty of the federal charges. However, legal experts believe that such severe punishments are unlikely. The men are facing state charges of manslaughter and aiding and abetting killing.
A jury convicted Chauvin of state murder and manslaughter last year. In December, he pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil right rights. He is currently awaiting sentencing.
He is still in prison serving a 22 1/2-year sentence in state case. This sentence was one of the longest ever imposed on a police officers for a killing in line of duty.