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George Floyd: Officer's attorney says 2nd-degree charges are 'bullshit'

Three of the four officers involved made their first court appearances on Thursday.
Author:
Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao.

Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao.

The lawyer for one of the former police officers charged in connection with the killing of George Floyd has described the severity of the charges against his client as "bullshit."

Earl Gray, who is the attorney for Thomas Lane, takes issue with the charge of 2nd-degree aiding and abetting murder filed against his client.

"You’ve gotta have criminal intent for second-degree murder and frankly this is bullshit," he said outside the Hennepin County Courthouse on Thursday.

Lane and the two other officers charged with aiding and abetting murder, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, made their first court appearances on Thursday, with bail set at $1 million, or $750,000 with conditions.

Lane was the only officer during the course the almost 9 minutes Floyd was held on the ground by himself, Kueng, and Chauvin – the latter of whom had his knee on Floyd's neck – who questioned Chauvin about how Floyd was being held, suggesting they should roll him over as he was worried Floyd would experience "excited delirium."

"What is my client supposed to do other than follow what the training officer said?” Gray told the media outside the courthouse, referring to Chauvin as the training officer, while noting that Lane had only been a fully fledged officer for four days prior to the incident.

"I'm not claiming he was following orders, I'm claiming he was doing what he thought was right, because he asked the training officer 'should we roll him over?', twice," Gray continued.

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When asked whether Lane had a responsibility to intervene physically or verbally, Gray said: "I guess the jury will decide that. In my opinion no."

He added: "It would be unreasonable for my client to try and drag Chauvin off the deceased. If you are a reasonable person you will understand.

"It's unreasonable to do that. You have got a 29-year captain in front and my guy is back there with 4 days and asking 'shall we roll him over?' He [Chauvin] says no we will wait for the ambulance, twice, and then he [Lane] says he's suffering from a delirium?

"I don't know what you're supposed to do as a cop."

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