Court Battles

Ex-officer: Restraint of George Floyd seemed ‘reasonable’

Thomas Lane, one of the three former Minneapolis police officers on trial for violating George Floyd’s civil rights, testified on Monday that Floyd’s arrest seemed reasonable at the time.

“He didn’t look good,” Lane recalled, thinking of Floyd, a Black man, during the arrest that happened in May 2020, according to Reuters

“It just seemed reasonable at the time. This guy is out of control,” he also said, adding that he thought an ambulance would be “here any minute.”

Lane could be heard in body camera footage asking if the officers should put Floyd on his side, something the officers are trained to do in order to prevent positional asphyxia, the news service reported.

Medical experts called in by the prosecution have said that such a move would have almost certainly saved Floyd’s life, Reuters added. 

But Derek Chauvin, a white officer who was the most senior officer at the scene, continued to kneel on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd last year and was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights in December. 

Lane’s Monday testimony makes him the last of the other three officers who were on the scene at the time of Floyd’s death to take the stand in the U.S. District Court in St. Paul.

Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng testified last week that they were acting under Chauvin’s authority. Both Kueng and Lane were rookie officers and were only a few days out of training at the time of Floyd’s murder, Reuters reported.

Following Floyd’s death, all four officers were fired by the Minneapolis Police Department.

In June, Kueng and Thao will both face allegations that they aided and abetted murder and manslaughter in a state trial.

Tags Floyd death

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