3 other cops charged in murder of George Floyd; Chauvin’s charge upgraded to second degree
The three other Minneapolis police officers in addition to Derek Chauvin who were fired in connection with the homicide of George Floyd are now also being charged in conjunction with his death. Those other ex-cops are Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that they'll be charged with "aiding and abetting murder." Additionally, Derek Chauvin, the former officer who kneeled on George Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, will have his charges elevated from third degree murder to second degree murder.
Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar confirmed this news, tweeting, "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."
The new charges come after the case was reassigned from the Hennepin County Attorney's Office on Sunday by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, and given it to Attorney General Keith Ellison.
"This is a bittersweet moment for the family of George Floyd," read a statement from Floyd's and 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."
Both the official Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office and an independent autopsy conducted at the behest of Floyd family declared Floyd's death a homicide, but each found different causes. The independent autopsy concluded it was homicide by asphyxia, while the Medical Examiner's Office say he died after experiencing "cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)."
The Floyd family statement also urged prosecutors to to upgrade Chauvin's charges to first degree murder, which carries a life sentence but also requires proof that it was premeditated. "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," reads the statement. "Therefore, we also demand permanent transparent police accountability at all levels and at all times." It also recently came to light that Chauvin and Floyd were former co-workers and may have known each other.
Floyd's family also thanked the outpouring support from protests around the world. "Our message to them: Find constructive and positive ways to keep the focus and pressure on," they said. "Don't let up on your demand for change."