crime and punishment

Earl Gray: Thomas Lane is a man of compassion

Thomas Kiernan Lane (©Hennepin County Jail)

Thomas Kiernan Lane (©Hennepin County Jail)

Thomas Kiernan Lane, 37, is one of the most hated Americans today due to his involvement in the fatal arrest of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American security guard. To defend Lane, his lawyer Earl Gray, 76, is doing his best to humanize his client.

“He’s a man of compassion,” Gray said of Lane in an interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN on June 8, 2020. “He’s not a violent person.”

Memorial Day on May 25, 2020 marked Lane’s fourth day as a Minneapolis Police Department officer. In the evening of that day, he helped his training officer Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, arrest Floyd for passing counterfeit currency along with another rookie cop J Alexander Kueng, 26, and veteran cop Tou Nmn Thao, 34, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.

It was Lane who was holding Floyd’s legs while Chauvin was kneeling on the arrestee’s neck. Kueng was holding the arrestee’s back and Thao was watching and interacting with the bystanders who were trying to intervene.

Lane, Kueng and Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony and with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence. Gray told Cuomo that Lane did everything he thought was right on the day of Floyd’s arrest.

“He did more than that,” Gray said of Lane. “He went into the ambulance and he’s the one that was doing CPR.”

Before Lane’s arrest, one of his relatives told the Minnesota Star Tribune that they are devastated. The former cop was described as a “compassionate and amusing and insightful” person by the relative.

“Our whole family feels terrible,” the relative said. “This isn’t him. This isn’t what he worked all his life for.”

Born on March 8, 1983 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Lane is the grandson of Donald M. Mealey, a Minneapolis police detective who died in 2008 at the age of 92. In 2016, Lane 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.

The Minneapolis Police Department hired Lane as a police officer in December 2019 and fired him on May 26, 2020. Gray believes that bodycam footage will clear his client of culpability over the death of Floyd.

1 reply »

  1. /Sarcasm on

    Mr. Gray, your public comment, when you observed that the public, while using cell-phones
    to record the event, did not physically intervene, shows you to be a criminal yourself.

    That’s because you, of all people, as a criminal lawyer, should KNOW that police officers do
    not respond to reasonably inquiry, such as “why are you arresting me?”. They do not listen to the “cattle and sheep”, who “we the people” seemingly are to them.

    You as a lawyer, should KNOW that police, especially as a SWAT team group, act as a “crazed drugged army without a concept of military style rules of engagement (such as don’t kill civilians)”.

    You should KNOW that is illegal and punishable by long prison terms to hit police bullies over the head with a baseball bat.

    In a normal country, preventing a murder would be a heroic act, and might fall under the “self-defense” or “Good Samaritan” rules of law. But the USA is NOT A NORMAL COUNTRY ANYMORE.

    It’s also illegal to kill police officers with 20 bullets from an AR-15, EVEN IF one is a privileged member of the Michigan militia, Montana militia, the Proud Boys, the Boogaloo Bois, and similar thug organizations hiding behind the 2nd amendment. As a lawyer you should know that!

    In fact, throwing a bunch of daisies, mums and rose flower petals in the general direction of a police officer in hot pursuit of killing someone already in handcuffs, might be considered as an “attack on a police officer, and interference in police work”. I am not an expert in the “dark arts and the science of prison term divination”, but a year or two in prison is easily in the realm of possibilities. Throwing a pie into your face is “an act of terrorism”. One cannot even legally suggest it. Don’t you know that?

    Would you please tell the public how to “legally interfere with killings by police”?

    Now, since you, Mr Gray, publicly and openly engaged in “encouraging and riling up the public into committing illegal acts against police officers”, by telling them that they “should and can legally interfere with police officers”, what should your prison term be?

    Will you kindly promise me to turn yourself in, plead guilty and ask for the longest term possible from that judge you have drinks with after hours? After all, you must “love law and order” and
    “equal justice for all”, don’t ya think?

    /Sarcasm off

    Like

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