Two of the now-fired Minneapolis cops who helped to pin George Floyd down until he stopped breathing had only been on the job for four days, their attorneys said during a court appearance on Thursday. Officer Thomas Lane and Officer J. Alexander Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting the murder of Floyd. Lane, who held Floyd’s legs down during the fatal arrest, said he was worried that Floyd might be in delirium and asked the other officers twice if they should roll Floyd over, according to a criminal complaint. Kueng, who is black, held Floyd’s back down.
Attorneys said the pair were rookies who were barely off probation and had no choice but to follow the orders of 19-year veteran Derek Chauvin, who held his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. However, police records indicate they may have had more than a few days experience, as they became full officers in December.