Two of three Minneapolis police officers accused of aiding and abetting in the death of George Floyd were rookies barely off probation when a more senior white officer ignored the black man’s cries for help and pressed a knee into his neck, defense attorneys said Thursday. the Associated Press reports. Earl Gray said his client, former officer Thomas Lane, had no choice but to follow the instructions of Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with second-degree murder in Floyd’s May 25 death. Gray called the case against his client “extremely weak.”
A judge set bail at $750,000 apiece for Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao in Hennepin County District Court Thursday. The Minneapolis Police Department fired all four officers last week and charged Chauvin — initially with third-degree murder — the following day. Protests that began on the streets of Minneapolis quickly spread across the nation, calling for justice for Floyd and other African Americans who were killed by police. Gray said Thursday that all Lane did was hold Floyd’s feet so he couldn’t kick. He noted that the criminal complaint says Lane asked Chauvin twice if they should roll Floyd over and expressed concern that Floyd might be in delirium. He said Lane performed CPR in the ambulance.