By Susu Jeffrey Original to Rise Up Times January 25, 2022
Judge Peter Cahill released the raw video footage of ex-police officer Thomas Lane’s body camera of the murder of George Floyd. It is essential viewing for background of the federal trial of Lane and ex-officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng. The trial on depriving George Floyd of his civil rights began January 20 in St. Paul with jury selection and should conclude in two weeks.
Thao and Kueng are additionally charged with failing to stop convicted ex-officer Derek Chauvin from kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
Ex-officer Thao, an 8-year Minneapolis veteran, was named in a 2014 lawsuit resulting in a $25,000 settlement where the man claimed Thao handcuffed him without cause, pushed him to the ground where he was punched, kicked and kneed. Lane and Kueng became police officers in December 2019.
Former officer Thomas Lane has a varied work record as a telemarketer, restaurant server, bartender, security guard, sales associate, and in 2017-18 as a juvenile corrections officer and assistant probation officer. In addition to a number of traffic violations, Lane was convicted of obstructing legal process and damaging property as an 18-year-old. He dropped out of high school but got a GED and bachelor’s degree in Sociology of Law at the University of Minnesota. He started as a police officer in his mid-30s. The Floyd murder occurred on Lane’s fourth shift as a fulltime officer.
In December 2021 Derek Chauvin pled guilty to federal civil rights violations against George Floyd and also against a 14-year-old juvenile whom he held by the throat, struck in the head with his flashlight, and knelt on the juvenile’s neck for about 15-minutes on September 14, 2017. Sentencing is pending.
Even before trials against the former police began, George Floyd’s family received $27 million to settle a wrongful death suit. Named in the March 2021 lawsuit were the City of Minneapolis, Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and Lane for “excessive use of unjustified, illegal and deadly force.”
The 34-minute video is compelling but difficult to watch. Click on the link below to view the video.