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Ex-Minneapolis police officer pleads guilty to manslaughter in George Floyd’s death

Former Minneapolis Police officers Thomas Lane (C) and J. Alexander Keung (R) leave the Hennepin County Family Justice Center after a pre trial hearing on September 11, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Stephen Maturen | Getty Images

A former Minneapolis police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

The ex-officer, Thomas Lane, entered a guilty plea to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Wednesday.

The state and defense jointly recommended to the court that Lane be sentenced to three years, a spokesperson for Ellison’s office said. His sentencing is set for Sept. 21.

“Today my thoughts are once again with the victims, George Floyd and his family. Nothing will bring Floyd back. He should still be with us today,” Ellison said in a statement.

“I am pleased Thomas Lane has accepted responsibility for his role in Floyd’s death. His acknowledgment he did something wrong is an important step toward healing the wounds of the Floyd family, our community, and the nation,” he continued. “While accountability is not justice, this is a significant moment in this case and a necessary resolution on our continued journey to justice.”

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He offered no other comments, saying the state is preparing for the June 13 trial of former Minneapolis Police Officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao on charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter.

NBC News has reached out to Lane’s attorney for comment.

All three officers were convicted in a federal trial in February of violating Floyd’s civil rights. Additionally, Kueng and Thao were convicted of failing to intervene and stop fellow Officer Derek Chauvin from using excessive force.

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died May 25, 2020, after a confrontation with Minneapolis police during which Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. His death sparked national uproar and protests decrying police brutality.

Chauvin was found guilty of second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in April 2021 in Floyd’s death. He was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison on those state charges.

Chauvin also pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights. He faces a federal sentence of 20 to 25 years.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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