Former Minneapolis Police Officer Thomas Lane Gets 2.5 Years for His Role in the Killing of George Floyd

Federal prosecutors had asked that Thomas Lane serve 6 years and 6 months, while his defense attorney requested a sentence of 2 years and four months

Thomas Lane
Thomas Lane. Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane has been sentenced to 2.5 years in federal prison for violating the civil rights of George Floyd in 2020, PEOPLE confirms.

Federal prosecutors had asked that Lane serve 6 years and 6 months, while his defense attorney requested a sentence of 2 years and four months.

Lane has been ordered to surrender to authorities on Oct. 4 to begin his sentence.

Lane, 39, and two other ex-officers — J. Alexander Kueng, 28, and Tou Thao, 36 — were convicted in February on federal counts of willfully violating Floyd's constitutional rights by showing deliberate indifference to his medical needs and failing to provide aid as Derek Chauvin, the senior officer on the scene, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, killing him.

Lane, Kueng, and Thao watched as Floyd struggled to breathe and repeatedly indicated his distress. All three testified on their own behalf and said they had trusted Chauvin's lead at the time.

Floyd had been detained by the four officers for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a corner Minneapolis market.

Chauvin was fired the day after Floyd's murder.

Viral video of Floyd's killing sparked the nation's largest civil rights protests in decades and led to increased awareness about police brutality and racial injustice in America.

Lane has been out on bond since 2020.

News of the federal sentence comes little more than two months after the disgraced rookie cop pleaded guilty to a state charge of second-degree manslaughter stemming from Floyd's May 25, 2020, killing.

George Floyd
George Floyd. Ben Crump Law Firm

He will be sentenced on the state charge on Sept. 21.

Thao and Kueng are scheduled to stand trial on state charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Oct. 24.

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Federal officials have yet to schedule a sentencing for Kueng and Thao, who have contested how their recommended sentences were calculated as part of a pre-sentencing review.

Chauvin, 46, pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of violating Floyd's civil rights and earlier this month, was sentenced to 21 years behind bars.

Prior to that, Chauvin was convicted on state charges of murder and manslaughter. He was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison — or 270 months.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero ( which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement ( provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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