The Department of Justice has released a statement from U.S. Attorney General William Barr on the alleged murder of Minnesota man George Floyd.
“The video images of the incident that ended with death of Mr. Floyd, while in custody of Minneapolis police officers, were harrowing to watch and deeply disturbing,” the Barr said in a statement that was released after the public learned of a third-degree murder charge in the case. “The state prosecutor has been in the process of determining whether any criminal charges are appropriate under state law. On a separate and parallel track, the Department of Justice, including the FBI, are conducting an independent investigation to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated.
“Both state and federal officers are working diligently and collaboratively to ensure that any available evidence relevant to these decisions is obtained as quickly as possible. Under our system, charging decisions must be, and will be, based on the law and facts. This process is proceeding quickly. As is the typical practice, the state’s charging decisions will be made first. I am confident justice will be served,” Barr added.
Former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday on charges of three-degree murder and manslaughter. He was the cop seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Footage of the incident led to national outcry, protests in the streets, and destruction. Chauvin and three other officers were fired over the incident.
Floyd was the suspect in an alleged $20 forgery. Video shows that when officers took him into custody, Chauvin kneeled on his neck for several minutes. He pleaded for the cop to get off of him, saying that he couldn’t breathe. In minutes, he stopped crying out or moving. Officials dragged Floyd’s limp body onto a gurney. Bystanders called out the cops while this was happening.
“Did they just kill him?” said a woman on the video. Floyd was declared dead that night.
[Image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]
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