Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is now charged with second-degree murder, according to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Ellison took over the case from Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman earlier this week. The three other officers at the scene where George Floyd was arrested—Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane—have been arrested, and face charges for allegedly aiding and abetting murder. Read more at Bring Me The News.
Senator Amy Klobuchar shared the news before the announcement, and noted, “This is another important step for justice.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin to 2nd degree in George Floyd’s murder and also charging other 3 officers. This is another important step for justice.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) June 3, 2020
George Floyd’s lawyer also responded to the new charges.
FAMILY’S REACTION: This is a bittersweet moment. We are deeply gratified that @AGEllison took decisive action, arresting & charging ALL the officers involved in #GeorgeFloyd's death & upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder. #JusticeForGeorge pic.twitter.com/jTfXFHpsYl
— Benjamin Crump, Esq. (@AttorneyCrump) June 3, 2020
Former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington on Friday. Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Chauvin was reportedly taken into custody by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Harrington has not mentioned whether the other three fired police officers involved in Floyd’s death have been arrested, according to the Star Tribune.
The news comes four days after Floyd died in south Minneapolis, after Chauvin had pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck. The week has seen protests resulting in buildings damaged, looted, and destroyed in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
During a press conference on Thursday, Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman told reporters that investigations into Floyd’s death and Chauvin’s actions would take time. He noted the existence of evidence that does not support a criminal charge and stressed that, although the case is top priority, he would not rush the process.
Today, Freeman told the press that he has received “sufficient evidence” to press charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter. Freeman called this “by far the fastest” he has seen a police officer charged in such a case. Ordinarily it would take nine months to a year, he said.
Of the other officers involved, Freeman said that his office is focusing on the “the most dangerous perpetrator” first.
While noting that he is “not insensitive to what happens in the streets,” Freeman also said that charging Chauvin resulted solely from the acquisition of sufficient evidence.