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Policeman Who Killed George Floyd Charged With Murder, Manslaughter

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Policeman Who Killed George Floyd Charged With Murder, Manslaughter
Derek Chauvin

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, ABN TV reports.

The 44-year-old white cop was arrested by state investigators on Friday afternoon and was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced.

George Floyd

George Floyd

Policeman Who Killed George Floyd Charged With Murder, Manslaughter

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.

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.

In widely circulated footage, Floyd was seen on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back as Chauvin pinned him to the pavement until he lost consciousness and later died.

As news of Chauvin’s arrest broke around the country, protesters were seen taking to the streets again, this time in celebration.

In Minneapolis crowds spilled on to the streets chanting: ‘One down, three to go’, while in Florida, protesters rallied outside a townhome belonging to the former cop.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Friday acknowledged the ‘abject failure’ of the response to this week’s violent protests and called for swift justice.

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.’

The governor cited a call he received from a state senator who described her district ‘on fire, no police, no firefighters, no social control, constituents locked in houses wondering what they were going to do. That is an abject failure that cannot happen.’

‘We have to restore order…before we turn back to where we should be spending our energy – making sure that justice is served,’ he said.  ‘We cannot have the looting and the recklessness that went on [last night].’

Earlier today Keith Ellison, the Attorney General, told CNN that officials were ensuring they have ‘a very strong case’ before they could announce charges.

Policeman Who Killed George Floyd Charged With Murder, Manslaughter Policeman Who Killed George Floyd Charged With Murder, Manslaughter

‘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.’

At a press conference on Thursday Mike Freeman, county attorney for Hennepin County, condemned the actions of white cop Derek 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.’

 


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