Derek Chauvin, the former Minnesota police officer involved in the death of George Floyd, has had his charges increased to second-degree murder.
Minnesota Attorney general Keith Ellison is also charging the three other officers involved in the incident, according to a tweet from US Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
Ellison’s official announcement is expected to come Wednesday afternoon, more than a week after Floyd was killed while in police custody. Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests that call for an end to violence against black citizens. There have been international protests in support of George Floyd and BLM too.
Chauvin, who had his knee pressed into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, was originally charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other officers – Thomas Lane and J.A Keung – both helped to restrain Floyd whilst Tou Thao stood nearby. They were not initially charged.
BREAKING: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin to 2nd degree murder in George Floyd’s case and also charging the other 3 officers, @amyklobuchar confirms. #GeorgeFloyd
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) June 3, 2020
Two autopsies on Floyd determined that he died by homicide. The Minneapolis Police Chief fired the four officers and said they were “complicit” in Floyd’s death.
The footage released and the criminal complaint shows Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck despite Floyd’s pleas he could not breathe. Witnesses nearby protested that he was dying and Lane twice asked Chauvin to turn Floyd onto his side. Chauvin kept his knee on his neck for almost three minutes after Floyd became unresponsive, the complaint states.
An attorney for the Floyd family said on Twitter that the family was gratified with the new charges.
“FAMILY REACTION: This is a bittersweet moment. We are deeply gratified that (Ellison) took decisive action, arresting & charging ALL the officers involved in #GeorgeFloyd’s death & upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder,” he said.
Minnesota Law – Murder 2 and Murder 3
Minnesota law states third-degree murder is causing the death of a person “by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind,” without regard for life but without intent to kill.
But second-degree murder, a more serious charge, is defined as when a person causes the death of another with intent to effect the death of that person but without premeditation.
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