The family of Thomas Lane -- one of the three police officers that have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd -- has reportedly set up a website asking the public to donate money toward his legal fees, according to TMZ. Google searches for the fundraising website did not include the actual site, but did include multiple reports that the site existed. Lane's bail was set at $1 million.
Per the outlet, Lane's family used the description of the fundraiser on the website to defend him. They claimed that he did everything he could to help Floyd. They pointed out that he was the one who asked whether Floyd should be rolled on his side while he was restrained. Lane's family also wrote that before Floyd fell unconscious, he called an ambulance, and when the ambulance arrived, he tried to save Floyd's life by performing CPR. They insisted that as a rookie cop, he felt he had no power to intervene in what was happening.This narrative of Lane's involvement -- or non-involvement -- in Floyd's death, is the same narrative that the former officer's lawyer, Earl Gray, has been relaying to the media, per CNN. During an interview on Cuomo Prime Time on Monday, he said that the body camera footage from Floyd's arrest showed that his client did everything he could to help him.
Gray also highlighted that Lane had only been on the force for four days and he was trying to stand up to a 20-year veteran of the force -- Derek Chauvin. The lawyer argued that responsibility for what played out during the incident should rest on the longtime officer and not the rookie with only a few days under his belt.
"My client is holding his legs, Mr. Floyd is saying he can't breathe and my client says to the 20-year veteran Chauvin should we roll him over," Gray said. "Lane asked, should we roll him on his side and officer Chauvin said no. Now, we've got a 20-year officer here and a four-day officer in my client."
During the same Cuomo Prime Time interview, Gray insisted that the bodycam footage showed that Floyd was resisting arrest.
"It wasn't a violent resistance, but it was not a kind of nonresistance that an individual should do when a police officer is arresting him," he said.
The narrative being put forth by Lane's family and his lawyer is in sharp contrast to the criticism he has received from the public and law enforcement officials, according to TMZ. Lane can be seen on several videos of the incident helping to restrain Floyd by holding his feet while Chauvin knelt on his neck. Though Lane is heard more than once asking whether Floyd should be rolled on his side, he did not intervene further when Chauvin told him to do so.
Per TMZ, Lane has been widely criticized for his failure to remove Chauvin from Floyd, as have the other officers involved in the incident. He faces up to 40 years in prison for his alleged involvement in Floyd's death.