A step toward justice has been made in the death of George Floyd.
Minneapolis police office, Derek Chauvin was arrested May 29 on 3rd-degree murder charges and manslaughter. Yesterday (June 3), the charges were upgraded to 2nd-degree murder. Chauvin, as you may remember from the video, is the cop with his knee pinned against George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
The other 3 former officers, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane have also been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
These updates came after Attorney General Keith Ellison took over the case.
One of the attorneys representing the Floyd family, Benjamin Crump says that this is a “bittersweet moment” for the family and released an official joint statement from them and the legal team:
“We are deeply gratified that Attorney General Keith Ellison took decisive action in this case, arresting and charging all the officers involved in George Floyd’s death and upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder.”
Watch Ellison’s full statement on the charges below:
If you missed the earlier article, read below for more background on the video that shocked America.
In a video that has now gone viral, Minneapolis police arrested George Floyd and held him down with a knee to his neck. “I can’t breathe, officer,” Floyd yells in the clip, while the officer responds, “You’re a tough guy? A tough guy, huh?”
You can also hear a bystander in the clip exclaim, “how long you gotta hold him down?…he is human bro.”
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The Minneapolis Police murdered this brother. This man, who, like Eric Garner, yelled out over and over and over again that HE COULD NOT BREATHE, was CLEARLY in distress. He is in handcuffs. On his belly. That already makes it hard for people to breathe. Then, for minutes and minutes on end, the officer keeps his KNEE on this man’s neck – literally choking the life out of him. The people BEGGED for them to let up. BEGGED. Not that it would matter, but this man wasn’t wanted for a violent crime. A grocery store thought he was signing a bad check. Yeah, really. A bad fucking check. Show me the white man that has ever been confronted and killed over this. People are hurting. People are out of work. I am so utterly disgusted and heartbroken that we live in a nation, in a time, where this keeps happening over and over again. Our team @GrassrootsLaw is going to fight for justice here and we won’t let up until we get it. But here’s the truth – JUSTICE would be this man this being alive right now. We are tired. We are angry. They are already LYING and saying they noticed he “went into distress.” No, YOU PUT HIM IN DISTRESS and KEPT HIM IN DISTRESS. And this shit has to end. Call the Mayor, Jacob Frey @ (612) 673-2100 and let him know he needs to speedily fire these officers and call the DA @ 612-348-5550. That’s Mike Freeman. Let him know he needs to file charges immediately. Follow @GrassrootsLaw.
The FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension have been called in to investigate after the man died at a nearby hospital.
A police department spokesperson, John Elder, said the man cooperated with the officers, but later “resisted.” He also says that “at no point were weapons of any kind used.” The Star Tribune also reports that all 4 officers involved have since been fired.
In a press conference this morning, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says, “being black in America should not be a death sentence.”
He also addresses the clip, “what I saw was wrong at every level. This does not reflect the values that [Police] Chief Arradondo has worked tirelessly to instill. It does not represent the training we invested in or the measures we’ve taken to ensure accountability.”
Another man gone too soon at the hands of those who are enlisted to serve and protect, we will continue to keep his loved ones lifted during this time.