(TMU) – Thomas Lane, one of the Minneapolis officers currently facing charges in the death of George Floyd, is asking for donations for his defense fund. Lane is currently being held on a $1 million bond, and is accused of standing by as Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes.
Lane insists that he was one of the officers who were attempting to de-escalate the situation, but there is no evidence in the video that Lane or any of the officers attempted to intervene, and there is no evidence that escalation was necessary to begin with.
Lane’s family insists that he was the one to call for an ambulance when Floyd lost consciousness, and that he also attempted to perform CPR in the ambulance. They also said that during the altercation Lane had suggested that Chauvin roll him on his side.
Obviously, these small measures were not nearly enough, but Lane’s family has argued that he couldn’t do anything more without risking his job because he was only a rookie who had only been on the force for four days, while Chauvin was a 19-year veteran of the force.
During an arraignment hearing last week, Lane’s attorney Earl Gray said, “You’ve got a 20-year cop on the front and my guy’s back there with four days. ‘Shall we roll him over?’ and he says ‘No, we’ll wait for the ambulance’ twice. And then he says he’s suffering from a delirium? I don’t know what you’re supposed to do as a cop.”
“If three cops are trying to restrain somebody and one doesn’t agree, well that one cop should go beat up the other two cops and let the guy go? That’s absurd!” he added.
Gray thinks that it would be absurd for a police officer to intervene in an arrest, but in an interview with CNN, he seemed to suggest that the bystanders could have realistically intervened, despite having far less power to do so than the other officers on the scene.
“If the public is there and they’re so in an uproar about this, they didn’t intercede either,” Gray said.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo pushed back, saying that “The idea that the civilians should have rushed in to a policing situation in the inner city of Minneapolis against four police officers that have weapons and are kneeling on the neck of a man — don’t you think that’s asking a little much of civilians and a little too little of your client?”
Gray insists that the complicated nature of the police structure and hierarchy made it impossible for the rookie officer to influence the situation in any safe or meaningful way.
This is not the first time that Lane has faced a criminal charge. In 2001, when Lane was just 18, he was charged with two counts of obstructing legal process, damaging property, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct, according to The Insider.
He was convicted of one count of obstructing the legal process and one charge of damaging property. He had another run-in with the police six years later in 2007 when he hosted a loud party.
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