Former officer seeks dismissal of charges in Floyd case

Men in suits with facemasks arrive at the courthouse
Former Minneapolis Police officers Thomas Lane (right) arrived at the Public Safety Facility Monday with attorney Earl Gray Monday, June 29, 2020.
Judy Griesedieck for MPR News

One of the former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd has filed a motion to dismiss charges, saying there isn’t enough evidence to establish probable cause that he committed a crime. 

Thomas Lane is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting manslaughter. He was one of four officers fired after Floyd was killed on May 25 when officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes. 

Transcripts of footage from body cameras worn by Lane and officer Alexander Kueng were included in the motion, along with a transcript of an interview with Lane conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators. 

In a body camera transcript, Lane twice asks if Floyd should be rolled on his side while he was being held down by officers Chauvin, Kueng and Lane. Chauvin said no. 

Lane’s attorney Earl Gray wrote that "Lane trusted Chauvin’s judgment as a 20-year veteran and waited for the ambulance to arrive. His trust was reasonable and not criminal."

Gray said the decision to restrain Floyd was reasonable because he was "uncooperative", "actively resisting" and "acting erratic." 

When officers tried to place Floyd in the back of a squad car he told officers he was claustrophobic, and said, "I can't breathe." 

"I"ll do anything, I"ll do anything y’all tell me to man. I'm not resisting, man. I'm not! I'm not!" Floyd said. 

After repeatedly telling the officers that he couldn't breathe, Floyd said, “They [are] going to kill me. They‘re going to kill me, man.”

The motion for dismissal asserts there is no evidence that Lane played an intentional role in aiding the commission of a crime, and no evidence Lane knew Chauvin was committing a crime.

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