The attorney for a rookie cop charged in George Floyd’s death has criticized bystanders for not intervening during the fatal encounter.
“If the public is there and they’re so in an uproar about this, they didn’t intercede either,” lawyer Earl Gray, who represents fired Minneapolis cop Thomas Lane, said Monday night on “Cuomo Prime Time.”
Footage from a bystander showed there was a crowd pleading with Lane’s superior, Officer Derek Chavin, to take his knee off Floyd’s neck May 25 as Floyd repeatedly cried out, “I can’t breathe.”
Lane’s attorney argued that his client, who was four days on the job when he helped pin down Floyd, was “down where he can’t really see.”
But host Chris Cuomo cut off Gray and ripped into him for not holding Lane more accountable.
“Two things — one, you’re laying on a man’s legs, you’ve got a fine view of what’s going on with that man. The other officer is literally a foot in front of you on his neck,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said he understood that he may have had a senior officer giving him orders, but “there’s also a duty to intervene.”
“And the idea that the civilians should have rushed in to a policing situation in the inner city of Minneapolis against four police officers that have weapons and are kneeling on the neck of a man — don’t you think that’s asking a little much of civilians and a little too little of your client?” Cuomo said.
Gray then appeared to walk back his stance, saying, “Absolutely. I’m not, I just brought that up.”
Lane, Chauvin and two other officers — Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — were fired from the force and arrested over Floyd’s death.
Chauvin faces second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.
Lane and the two others are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
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