UPDATE: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is reportedly elevating the charges against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer responsible for kneeling on George Floyd’s neck and killing him. According to the Star Tribune, Ellison also plans to charge the three other officers involved in Floyd’s murder with aiding and abetting.
Those familiar with the update in the case say Ellison will announce the charges on Wednesday. Chauvin’s third-degree murder charge will be bumped up to a second-degree murder charge. Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are expected to also be charged with second-degree murder.
Ellison took over the prosecution in the George Floyd case on June 1, after being asked to by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. On Tuesday Ellison told CNN host Chris Cuomo, “We are looking very carefully at holding everybody accountable who failed to do their duty and fell below the legal requirements of their position, or did something affirmatively that would be in violation of the law.”
PREVIOUSLY REPORTED: According to multiple reports, the former police officer responsible for the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has been taken into custody by Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Calls for Derek Chauvin’s arrest and everyone involved in his killing have led to days of civil unrest in the city. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The investigation is ongoing and could lead to additional charges.
Hennepin County prosecutor Michael Freeman said during a press conference that the three additional officers involved in the case have not been taken into custody, but he “anticipates charges” for them as well. Freeman also added that the prosecutor’s office was focused on getting the “most dangerous” assailant off the streets first.
On Tuesday, news of Floyd’s death, accompanied by the gruesome video detailing his murder, sparked outrage on social media. That anger then spilled onto the streets of Minneapolis, leading to protests and rioting. Many were furious that nobody was arrested in connection to the death of George Floyd, while others were motivated by the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others that have left much of Black America reeling from two pandemics.
Protests have led to the burning of a Minneapolis police station and the destruction of several businesses within the immediate area. The governor of Minnesota has called in the National Guard to help restore order to the streets. Still, activists and protestors have promised to keep fighting for justice as long as the men involved in the case are free.
“They took a life; now they deserve life,” Philonise Floyd, George’s brother, told Don Lemon earlier this week, “I don’t feel sorry for them. They hurt me; they hurt my family.”
Freeman says Chauvin’s arrest is the quickest the city of Minneapolis has acted in any officer-involved murder case. He also added that his office waited to collect all the evidence needed in the case before bringing charges. “The case is now ready,” Freeman told reporters, “and we have charged it.”
This story is still developing.