Ex-Officer Thomas Lane To Testify in Federal Trial Over Floyd’s Death

In Summary

Attorneys for Thomas Lane and the two other officers argue there was more to the story than the viral video.  

Thomas Lane, one of the three officers on trial for involvement in the death of George Floyd, plans to testify in his own defense in federal court. 

RELATED: Mostly White Jury Seated in Federal Trial Over George Floyd’s Death  

According to CNN, Lane was a rookie officer and held Floyd’s legs down during the restraint while his former colleague Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.  

During open arguments on Monday, attorney Earl Gray told the court the former Minneapolis police officer would testify. Along with J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, Lane is facing charges of depriving Floyd of his rights by failing to render medical aid. Thao and Kueng are also charged with failing to intervene when Chauvin used unreasonable force, CNN reported.  

RELATED: Former Officers Involved in Floyd’s Murder Plead Not Guilty to Federal Charges  

The three, who are being tried together, have pleaded not guilty to the charges, while Chauvin pled guilty as part of a plea deal. Chauvin is currently serving more than 20 years in prison for Floyd’s murder after being convicted in state court, BNC previously reported.  

A federal prosecutor spoke in the federal courtroom during open arguments, saying the three former officers committed federal cries by ignoring Floyd’s cries. “Each made a conscious choice over and over again,” Samantha Trepel said. “They chose not to intervene and stop Chauvin as he killed a man. They chose not to protect George Floyd, the man they handcuffed.”  

RELATED: 3 Former Cops Charged in George Floyd’s Death Don’t Want Trial Televised  

Thao’s attorney, Robert Paule, said the sad ending of Floyd’s life does not mean the officers deserve jail time. “The fact that something ends tragically does not mean a crime has been committed,” he said.  

The three will also face a state trial, which has been postponed to allow the federal trial to move forward without interruption.  

RELATED: State Trial for 3 Ex-Officers Involved in George Floyd’s Death Postponed  

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.   

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