One of the police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis is out of jail after raising his $750,000 bond through the help of online donations, a report reveals.
Thomas Lane, a rookie police officer who is accused of aiding and abetting murder in Floyd’s death, posted cash bail earlier this week thanks to an online appeal that decried the high amount set for his bail. As the Star Tribune reported, a website that has since been taken down called on supporters to pitch in money to allow Lane to return to his family.
Earl Gray, an attorney representing Lane, confirmed that the fundraiser was legitimate but would not reveal how much of the bail money came from collections or who first organized the appeal.
As the New York Post noted, Lane was on just his fourth shift as a member of the Minneapolis police department when he answered a call about a man using a suspicious $20 bill. He was one of four officers who detained Floyd. Another officer was Derek Chauvin, who was captured on video pressing a knee into Floyd’s neck and ignoring the man’s pleas that he was in pain and could not breathe. Chauvin kept his knee in place for several minutes after Floyd became unresponsive and Floyd later died as a result.
Gray said that Lane was trying to do the right thing during the arrest and tried to get Chauvin to remove his knee. Lane was seen on video helping to keep Floyd on the ground.
Floyd’s death has set off more than two weeks of protests that spread out of Minneapolis and across the globe, with protesters calling for justice for Floyd and an end to systemic racism in policing. There was much scrutiny on local officials for not immediately arresting Chauvin despite video of Floyd’s death going viral just hours after the events that led to his death. Prosecutors were also criticized for waiting several more days to bring charges against Lane and the other officers who took part in the incident.
The police system in Minneapolis and laws protecting officers have come under scrutiny as well. As The Inquisitr reported, Chauvin is still eligible to receive more than $1 million in pension benefits, even if he is convicted of Floyd’s murder. Minneapolis does not have a law preventing police officers from receiving pension benefits even if they are convicted of a crime while on the job.