Thomas Kiernan Lane, 37, is one of the four former cops embroiled in the controversy surrounding the death of George Floyd, an African-American security guard. The former is a native of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, also known as the Twin Cities.
While Floyd’s family and friends are mourning, the relatives of the former cops are also suffering. A male relative of Lane told the Minnesota Star Tribune that the former cop is a “compassionate and amusing and insightful” person.
“We’re devastated,” the relative of Lane told the publication. “Our whole family feels terrible.”
“This isn’t him,” the relative said of Lane. “This isn’t what he worked all his life for.”
The relative described the fatal arrest as “just a terrible event” and said he feels bad for Floyd’s family. He went on to say that not all cops are bad and Lane is “being categorized now and he shouldn’t be.”
Some of Lane’s relatives also worked for the Minneapolis Police Department. In particular, his grandfather Donald M. Mealey, who died in 2008 at the age of 92, was a Minneapolis police detective.
The Minneapolis Police Department hired Lane on February 19, 2019. On May 25, 2020, he and three other cops namely J Alexander Kueng, 26, Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, and Tou Nmn Thao, 34, responded to a report from an employee at Cup Foods at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis that a customer was trying to pay with a counterfeit $20 bill.
Matching the suspect’s descriptions, Floyd was arrested by Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and Lane. The encounter escalated quickly and it got to a point where Chauvin pinned Floyd on the ground with the arresting officer’s left knee on the arrestee’s neck.
“I can’t breathe,” Floyd pleaded. “I can’t move. My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. Please. Please.”
Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for a total of 8 minutes and 46 seconds. He and Kueng were holding the arrestee’s legs and back, respectively, while Thao was dealing with the bystanders.
“Should we roll him?” Lane asked at one point. Chauvin replied, “No, staying out where we got him.”
“Should we roll him on his side?” Lane asked again as he was concerned about excited delirium. Chauvin replied, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.”
Floyd was pronounced dead at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Shortly after his death, the Minneapolis Police Department terminated Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and Lane.