'Leave him': New court filings detail George Floyd's fatal arrest

An attorney for former Minneapolis officer Thomas Lane filed a motion to dismiss charges, citing "lack of probable cause" for Lane's role in Floyd's death.

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By Minyvonne Burke

The lawyer for one of the former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd's death wants the charges dismissed, and documents filed for the dismissal reveal more details about the fatal arrest.

Attorney Earl Gray on Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss the charges, citing a "lack of probable cause" against Thomas Lane, who along with former officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, is charged with aiding and abetting murder for their involvement in Floyd's May 25 death in police custody.

Former officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and faces murder and manslaughter charges for kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. All four officers were fired by the Minneapolis Police Department on May 26.

Gray argued that Lane asked twice if Floyd should be turned on his side while he was being detained, but Chauvin said no.

People pay their respects at the makeshift memorial outside Cup Foods where George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, on May 31, 2020 in Minneapolis.Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

"Lane did not intentionally aid, advise, hire, counsel, or conspire with Chauvin or otherwise procure Chauvin to commit second degree murder," a memorandum filed along with the dismissal states. "Lane did not encourage any alleged criminal actions of Chauvin."

According to the document, Lane approached a car that Floyd was in and asked him at least 10 times to show his hands before ordering Floyd out of the vehicle.

As Lane walked Floyd toward his squad car, Floyd said he was claustrophobic and did not want to get inside the car. Lane told Floyd that he would crack the window and turn the air conditioner on but Floyd resisted getting in the car, according to the document.

"The struggle continues and Floyd says 'I’ll get on the ground, anything.' He is asked several more times to get in the car," the document states. "Floyd tells officers 'I can’t breathe' and 'I want to lay on the ground' a couple of times. Lane eventually responds with 'get him on the ground.'"

Floyd, who was handcuffed, was then placed on the ground on his stomach. Bystander video showed Chauvin pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee on Floyd's neck as he begged, "Please, please, please, I can't breathe."

He died while in police custody.

The memorandum states that Lane, who was positioned by Floyd's feet, had asked, "Should we get his legs up, or is this good?" Chauvin responded, "Leave him." Lane had also suggested to Kueng that he check Floyd's pulse because he had stopped moving.

The document points out that Lane was hired by the police department in February 2019 and finished his final training five days before Floyd's death. It says that it is "not fair or reasonable" for Lane to stand trial on the charges and "based on the lack of evidence to establish probable cause this case must be dismissed."

In an interview with investigators, Lane said he was "basically going off Officer Chauvin's experience and what he was saying" because Chauvin was a 20-year veteran, according to another document. Lane told investigators that he was advised to "trust and go to your senior officers for experience and help on calls and what's the best thing to do in this situation."

Kueng's attorney, Thomas Plunkett, declined to comment Wednesday. Attorneys for the other officers could not immediately be reached by NBC News.