Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer seen on video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe, has been arrested. Charges weren’t initially clear, but it was later revealed by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman that Chauvin faces one count each of three-degree murder and manslaughter.
Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder, manslaughter in death of #GeorgeFloyd, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has just announced.
— Jessica De Leon (@JDeleon1012) May 29, 2020
The charges were revealed shortly after Chauvin was arrested.
News re the murder of George Floyd: The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has taken former Police Officer Derek Chauvin into custody
No charging decision has been made yet.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 29, 2020
Here’s what the Minnesota third-degree murder statute says:
Whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 25 years.
Floyd’s grieving family have said it believed the officers involved should be charged with murder.
“Firing them is a good start, but we want to see justice for our family,” Floyd’s cousin Tera Brown previously told CNN’s Don Lemon. “We want to see them charged. We want to have them arrested.” This was a murder, the family said.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired over the incident amid the release of disturbing cellphone video, but arrests weren’t immediately forthcoming. An attorney for the defendant has previously declined to comment to media outlets, including the Associated Press.
The perception among critics was that authorities were slow-walking the arrest of Chauvin despite the video. In the footage, Floyd pleaded with the officer to get off of him, and said he couldn’t breathe. Within minutes, he stopped responding. Officials dragged Floyd’s limp body onto a gurney.
Floyd was declared dead at a hospital. His death in police custody fueled demonstrations overnight. Protesters took over the police precinct where the four officers used to work. Fire was set to the building.
Update – May 29, 2:13 p.m.: We added information on the charges.
[Screengrab via Darnella Frazier]
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