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Thomas Lane sentenced to 2 1/2 years for violating George Floyd's civil rights

Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane was sentenced Thursday to two and a half years in prison for depriving George Floyd of his civil rights. The sentencing comes nearly 26 months to the day that George Floyd was murdered.

Lane was one of the four Minneapolis police officers charged in connection with that murder, but he's expected to serve less time than the others. 

Sentencing requirements

Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced Lane to 30 months in prison followed by two years of conditional supervised release where he must not commit crimes, own or possess a firearm, and must not contact Floyd's family. 

Magnuson said he received 145 letters in support of Lane. 

"I’ve never received as many letters in support of a defendant facing sentence," Magnuson said. 

Floyd's Family, Friends respond

Both George Floyd's brother Philonise Floyd and his girlfriend Courtney Ross addressed the court prior to Lane's sentencing.

"I ask where’s the humanity? Not one officer apologized," Philonise said. "Not one officer tried to protect George that day by simply raising his voice."

Philonise asked the court during his victim impact statement to hand Lane the highest possible sentence. 

Floyd's girlfriend Courtney Ross also addressed the court, "Mr. Lane, I don’t think you’re a bad guy. I think you’re one man in a system based on supremacy and hate."

Previous sentences

Earlier this month, Derek Chauvin was sentenced to more than 20 years in federal prison for depriving Floyd of this civil rights. 

Earlier this year, Lane and former officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were found guilty of violating George Floyd's civil rights. Lane has already reached a plea deal in his criminal trial in court.

Back in May, he pleaded guilty to state charges of aiding and abetting manslaughter and agreed to serve 3 years in prison. In this federal civil case, prosecutors are seeking five to six and a half years in prison.

Whatever the judge decides, Lane will serve out both sentences at the same time in a federal prison. 

Because of a scheduling conflict, the judge in this case will allow the family of George Floyd to listen in by phone to the sentencing hearing.