Ex MPD cop Derek Chauvin charged w/ murder, manslaughter in George Floyd death as prosecutors seek to establish if excessive force was used.
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder after he was seen kneeling on the neck of black man George Floyd in a video of his arrest that sparked violent protests across the country.
His arrest comes a day after prosecutors had warned there was ‘evidence that did not support criminal charges’ in the case saying they needed to prove Chauvin had used ‘excessive’ force.
Freeman said prosecutors were able to formally lay charges after the office ‘gathered the evidence that we need.’
He did not have immediate details, but said a criminal complaint would be made publicly available later.
3rd degree murder? More like 1st. What do you expect to happen when you’re kneeling on a handcuffed mans throat for over 5 mins? The man begged that he couldn’t breath. All the cop had to do was sit him up. There’s 4 armed cops and he’s handcuffed. What threat would he have been?
— Roman (@K67647299Roman) May 29, 2020
1st degree vs 3rd degree?
As for the other three officers who were fired alongside Chauvin over Floyd’s death – J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – Freeman said the investigation is still ongoing and prosecutors chose to focus on the ‘most dangerous perpetrator’.
The charges come after three days of riots and protests that erupted across Minneapolis – and several states – demanding justice for 46-year-old Floyd.
The differences between first degree and third degree murder and manslaughter posits on whether there was an intent to kill along with wanton disregard for human life of one’s actions.
In widely captured footage, Chauvin was seen kneeling on the neck of handcuffed black suspect, George Floyd before losing consciousness and soon after dying.
Earlier today Keith Ellison, the Attorney General, told CNN that officials were ensuring they have ‘a very strong case’ before they could announce charges.
‘Everybody believes that this is a violation of Mr Floyd,’ Ellison said. ‘And I believe that everybody wants to see these charges filed as soon as they can be. But again, I do want to say we have seen cases that seem so clear go south.’
Chauvin and the other three officers in Floyd’s arrest – J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – were fired but say they don’t plan to cooperate.
They aren’t going to risk murder charges on them when they know there’s no way in hell to stick it on them best we can get is gross incompetence or manslauter
— mooshroomdragon (@mooshroomdrago) May 29, 2020
What can prosecutors reasonably hope to stick to get a conviction?
Prosecutors on Thursday had warned there was ‘evidence that does not support criminal charges’ in the case of four cops accused of killing George Floyd, as they say police can use a ‘certain amount of force – but not excessive’.
At a press conference Mike Freeman, county attorney for Hennepin County, condemned the actions Chauvin as ‘horrific and terrible’, but said prosecutors needed to determine if he used ‘excessive’ force when he knelt on the black man’s neck for eight minutes until he passed out and later died.
‘That video is graphic and horrific and terrible and no person should do that,’ he said.
‘But my job in the end is to prove he violated a criminal statute – but there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge.’
Freeman warned the case against Chauvin ‘can’t be rushed’ for fear of a repeat of the Freddie Gray case in 2015 where all charges were dropped against cops involved in the black man’s death.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday acknowledged the ‘abject failure’ of the response to this week’s violent protests and called for swift justice for police involved in the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white officer knelt on his neck.
Walz said the state would take over the response and that it´s time to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering.
‘Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire. The fire is still smoldering in our streets. The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish unheard,’ Walz said, adding. ‘Now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world – and the world is watching.’