Thomas Lane is not 'in best spirits' but is relieved after bail, says lawyer: 'He knows he's innocent'
Lane's attorney Earl Gray said that his client is confident that everything is going to be okay for him
Thomas Lane, one of the four former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's death, is "enormously relieved" to be out of police custody and is "confident" that he will be cleared of all charges the in the case. The 37-year-old former cop, after spending nearly seven days in Hennepin County Jail, was released on $750,000 bail on June 10.
Lane's attorney Earl Gray, in a statement to Daily Mail, said that his client is confident that everything is going to be okay for him. "Obviously he is not in the best of spirits but he's mature enough to know that because he is innocent that everything is going to be okay and he can be confident in that," Gray said of Lane. "Of course he is relieved to be with his wife and out of jail. And it's a good thing for his lawyer too, as it means I don't have to go visit him in jail anymore."
Four Minneapolis police officers allegedly involved in Floyd's death were fired on May 26 after a video of the incident went viral on social media. The footage showed officer Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck as the 46-year-old told officers to let him stand because he could not breathe. A few minutes later, he became unconscious. Floyd's death has sparked massive protests and unrest in Minneapolis and across the country. All the officers were later charged and arrested. Lane is the only one who has been released on bail.
During Lane's first appearance at court last week, Gray had fiercely advocated for his client when the initial bail was set. The attorney had pointed out that Lane was a rookie cop who had joined the force just four days before Floyd's death, while Chauvin was his senior officer with experience in the force of nearly 20 years. Gray argued that his client thought he was doing "everything that he was supposed to do". The other three officers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Keung have all been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. If convicted, the officers face up to 40 years in prison.
The criminal complaint stated that on May 25, Lane had asked Chauvin: "Should we roll him on his side?" as Floyd repeatedly told the officers that he could not breathe. "I am worried about excited delirium or whatever," Lane said, to which Chauvin replied with: "That's why we have him on his stomach."
Gray, during Lane's initial court appearance, described the case against his client "very weak" and stated that his plan was to have all charges against him dismissed. The lawyer told the judge: "What was he supposed to do? Tell Chauvin to get off?" The criminal complaint, however, states that "despite his comments," Lane "took no action to assist Mr Floyd, to change his position, or to reduce the force the officers were using against Mr Floyd." Lane, instead, continued to hold Floyd's legs as "none of the three officers moved from their positions," the complaint stated.
The attorney also pointing out during the court hearing that Lane was the only officer who got into the ambulance with Floyd and attempted to resuscitate him with CPR. "[Lane was] pounding on this guy trying to revive him. Where is the willful intent?" Gray asked.
While Thao and Alexander continue to remain in custody at Hennepin County Jail, Chauvin is being held in a maximum-security Minnesota Correctional Facility Oak Park Heights. Their next court hearing is scheduled for June 29.