Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane admits he didn't check George Floyd's 'counterfeit' $20 note

Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane didn’t check George Floyd’s ‘counterfeit’ $20 note

'We were more concerned with a least attaining that person on suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill and then figuring out the validity of the bill'

Justin Vallejo
New York
Friday 21 August 2020 22:53
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The alleged counterfeit $20 bill used by George Floyd wasn't inspected or collected before his fatal arrest in Minneapolis, according to one of the first officers at the scene.

Former police officer Thomas Lane said in newly-released audio that he didn't obtain the bill before, during or after the incident that led to Mr Floyd's death on 25 May.

In response to questioning by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Mr Lane said that he didn't look at the alleged $20 forgery being held by the Cup Foods worker identifying Mr Floyd.

"We were more concerned with a least attaining that person on suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill and then figuring out the validity of the bill," Mr Lane can be heard in the audio recording.

When asked if the bill was later collected, Mr Lane said: "I think it was. I'm not sure."

Mr Lane's attorney has submitted in previous court filings photos showing crumpled $20 and $1 bills on the inside of Mr Floyd's car.

The 90-minute recording released this week was filed by prosecutors in support of their motion to try all four officers charged over Mr Floyd's death at one trial. A transcript of the interview was previously released on 7 July.

Mr Lane is one of three officers charged with aiding and abetting the murder and manslaughter of Mr Floyd, while Derek Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Mr Lane, who was the first to approach and speak to Mr Floyd, drew his gun on the 46-year old before he and officer J Alexander Kueng handcuffed him and placed him under arrest.

George Floyd: Police release new bodycam video

"As I was walking across the street to get to the vehicle, I could see the front seat passenger look back and see us, and believe the driver as well looked back. And then they both started digging underneath the seat, looked like they were reaching for something," Mr Lane said in the recording.

"I directed him, 'Let me see your other hand.' He didn't do that, and he was just, 'Oh, it's not a big deal,' or whatever, and he kept his hand down there. He glanced back, so I took my gun out, and said, 'Let me see your other f***ing hand. Put your hand up,' gave him commands to do that. I'm not sure how many. Think I gave a few."

In a filing to dismiss the charges on Monday, attorney Earl Gray claimed that Mr Floyd swallowed a two-milligram lethal dose of fentanyl, pointing to bodycam footage that showed a "white spot on the left side" of his tongue when he was first approached.

“All he had to do is sit in the police car, like every other defendant who is initially arrested. While attempting to avoid his arrest, all by himself, Mr Floyd overdosed on Fentanyl,” the court documents read.

"Given his intoxication level, breathing would have been difficult at best. Mr Floyd’s intentional failure to obey commands, coupled with his overdosing, contributed to his own death."

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