A rookie cop, Thomas Kiernan Lane had completed his field training just recently. While the world is battling against the new coronavirus (COVID-19), he lost his job as a police officer along with a fellow rookie cop and two veterans.
The four cops were involved in the controversial arrest of George Floyd, the late African-American security guard originally from Houston, Texas, United States. Floyd died almost 90 minutes after the arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, which earned the ire not only of Americans but of different people from all over the world.
On May 25, 2020, Lane, Chauvin, Thao and Kueng, responded to a report from an employee at Cup Foods at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis claiming that a customer bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. It was Lane’s fourth day on the police force.
It was Lane and Kueng who arrived at the scene first and approached the parked car of Floyd, who matched the suspect’s descriptions. Chauvin and Thao followed minutes later in a separate squad car.
Lane pointed his gun at Floyd’s open window and directed the African-American man to show his hands but the cop put his gun back in its holster after the suspect put his hands on the steering wheel. It was Lane who handcuffed Floyd after ordering him out of his car.
After pulling Floyd out of his car, Lane ordered the suspect to sit on the ground and asked for his name and identification. The cop explained to the suspect that he was arrested for passing counterfeit currency.
Chauvin was kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Lane was holding the arrestee’s legs. Lane said he was worried about excited delirium but Chauvin ignored it.
Represented by Earl Gray, Lane was still in his probationary period when he was fired by the Minneapolis Police Department. Here are 13 more facts about the former rookie cop:
- He was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
- From 2000 to 2017, he held at least 10 jobs.
- He worked as a laborer, a telemarketer, a security guard, a server and bartender at different restaurants throughout Minneapolis and as a Home Depot sales associate.
- He had several traffic violations from 2001 to 2018 including speeding, obstructing traffic and parking-meter violations.
- In October 2001, he was charged with two counts of obstructing legal process, damaging property, unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct and was convicted of one count of obstructing legal process and one charge of damaging property.
- In March 2007, he faced misdemeanor charges of hosting a noisy party or gathering and disorderly conduct and was found guilty of the noisy-gathering charge.
- In 2008, his grandfather Donald M. Mealey, a Minneapolis police detective, died at the age of 92.
- He did not graduate from high school but he went on to get his G.E.D. and earn an associate degree from Century College, a two-year community and technical college in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
- As a volunteer for nationally recognized Somali nonprofit organization Ka Joog, he tutored young Somali refugees in Cedar Riverside, Minneapolis in science and math activities.
- In 2016, he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology of law, criminology and deviance from the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
- From 2017 to 2018, he worked as an assistant probation officer at a residential treatment facility for adolescent boys and as a correctional officer at the Hennepin County juvenile jail. In 2018, he got married.
- He was accepted to the police academy in January 2019, hired by the Minneapolis Police Department as a police cadet on February 19, 2019 and started as a police officer in December 2019.
- He was 37 years old when he was involved in Floyd’s fatal arrest.