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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin charged with murder in George Floyd’s death


iStock/BlakeDavidTaylorDerek Chauvin, the white former Minneapolis police officer seen in a widely-circulated video pinning George Floyd‘s neck to the ground with his knee, has been charged with murder in Floyd’s death.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced during a Friday afternoon press conference that Chauvin was taken into custody just before noon local time and has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, adding that more charges may be added later. 

Freeman also said the investigation continues into the three other former Minneapolis officers involved in in the incident, and that he “anticipates” charges will be forthcoming for those officers as well.

Freeman said the charges were brought against Chauvin after prosecutors reviewed evidence that included the witness video, which shows Chauvin pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee on his neck, as well as the officers’ bodycam video, which hasn’t been publicly released.  Witness statements and the preliminary report from the medical examiner were also included in the decision, as were discussions with experts. 

Floyd died Monday night after he was taken into police custody for allegedly attempting to use a counterfeit bill at a local store, after which police claim he resisted arrest.  Witness video shows Chauvin, a 19-year police veteran, placed his knee against Floyd’s neck for approximately seven minutes, during which time Floyd repeatedly declared he couldn’t breathe before video shows him no longer moving.  He was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital.

Chauvin, along with additional responding officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, were fired less than a day after Floyd’s death.  The incident has resulted in widespread riots in Minneapolis and elsewhere in the days since.

By Christopher Watson
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