The three other officers on the scene when George Floyd was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin have been arrested and the charges against Chauvin upgraded from third-degree to second-degree murder. Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane are being charged with aiding and abetting a murder, the Star Tribune reports, in what the Floyd family has described as a “bittersweet moment.”
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
- Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced the new charges on June 3. At a press conference, Ellison revealed that Chauvin would now face second-degree murder charges, indicating that the authorities believe that Chauvin acted with a complete disregard for human life and with the explicit attention to cause extreme harm. In addition, the other three officers involved in George Floyd’s murder will face charges for their role in Floyd’s death.
- It is clear that Chauvin meant to kill George Floyd. As the amended complaint against Chauvin read, “Police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous. … Officer Chauvin’s restraint of Mr. Floyd in this manner for a prolonged period was a substantial factor in Mr. Floyd losing consciousness, constituting substantial bodily harm, and Mr. Floyd’s death as well.” Special prosecutor Don Lewis added that the video footage of the incident made it clear that Chauvin intended to murder Floyd, saying, “You have George Floyd begging for his life, right? ‘I can’t breathe.’ This is a moment of potential reflection on Chauvin’s part. He had multiple opportunities to change course here and decided not to over the span of almost 10 minutes.”
- Hopefully all four will spend a long time behind bars. The second-degree murder charges Chauvin is now facing carry a sentence of up to 40 years behind bars, and many believe he should spend the rest of his life there. The sentence for the other three officers if found guilty of the aiding and abetting charges is equally as hefty.
- George Floyd’s family still wants the murder charges upgraded and for justice to be served. In a statement released by the family via their lawyer Benjamin Crump, the Floyd family said they were pleased that steps are being taken to bring George’s murderers to justice but that there’s still more to be done. “This is a bittersweet moment for the family of George Floyd. 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,” the statement read.
- This was a deliberate act and should be treated as such. “These officers knew they could act with impunity, given the Minneapolis Police Department’s widespread and prolonged pattern and practice of violating people’s constitutional rights,” the statement continued. “Therefore, we also demand permanent transparent police accountability at all levels and at all times.”
BREAKING: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin to 2nd degree murder in George Floyd’s case and also charging the other 3 officers, @amyklobuchar confirms. #GeorgeFloyd
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) June 3, 2020
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
@AttorneyCrump, the legal team, & the family of #GeorgeFloyd have released the following statement about the arrest of the other three MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd and the addition of a felony second-degree murder charge against fired officer Derek Chauvin. pic.twitter.com/t0bsDyc1fq
— Ben Crump Law, PLLC (@BenCrumpLaw) June 3, 2020