Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s charge will be raised to second-degree murder and the three other former officers will also be charged following the death of George Floyd, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) confirms.
Attorney General Keith Ellison will reportedly announce that Chauvin, who is currently charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, will now be charged with second-degree murder, told sources, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Three other former officers (J Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao), will face aiding and abetting murder charges, according to multiple law enforcement insiders.
BREAKING: Attorney General Keith Ellison to elevate charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to second-degree murder; three other officers to be charged with aiding and abetting murder, sources say. https://t.co/NTBkdBH4Oo
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) June 3, 2020
Ellison has reportedly completed his review of evidence in the investigation of four former Minneapolis police officers linked to the killing of Floyd, according to CNN. Officials working for Ellison said the attorney general will make the announcement early Wednesday afternoon regarding additional charges.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar confirmed that Ellison would make the announcement of additional charges Wednesday.
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
Chauvin had previously been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Former officers Thomas Lane, and J.A. Keung, who helped pin Floyd down, and a fourth officer, You Thao, who stood nearby the incident were not initially charged.
Video of the May 25 incident caught Chauvin officers kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded with the officer that he couldn’t breathe. The footage has ignited widespread outrage and days of demonstrations in many cities across the country and around the world and put the issue of racial injustice in the U.S. to the forefront.
An initial autopsy revealed that Floyd’s death was caused by a combination of being restrained, potential intoxicants in his system and underlying health issues, namely heart disease. A second autopsy was performed, which was authorized by Floyd’s family, and the results showed that Floyd died of asphyxiation.
“Sustained pressure on the right side of Mr. Floyd’s carotid artery impeded blood flow to the brain, and weight on his back impeded his ability to breathe,” read a statement from the independent autopsy results.
Lawyers for Floyd’s family have called for charges against Chauvin to be upgraded to first-degree murder. They have also demanded that the other officers involved face murder charges.
Ben Crump, an Atlanta-based injury lawyer, is representing the Floyd family. He said earlier this week Chauvin should face more severe charges because Floyd repeatedly pleaded for his life, according to CNBC.
“Not only was the knee on George’s neck a cause of his death but so was the weight of the other two police officers on his back, who not only prevented blood flow into his brain but also air flow into his lungs.”
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo lodged blame on all four officers Sunday, noting the four officers were “complicit” in Floyd’s death.
While Chauvin was arrested last week, pressure for authorities to bring charges against the remaining three officers has been building as protests have continued for days across the country.