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Murder charge upgraded against officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck, other officers also charged

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Jun 3, 2020 at 8:41 pm PDT

Summary

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will be charged with second-degree murder in George Floyd killing

The other three officers who were present will be charged with aiding and abetting murder, according to reports

Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter

MINNEAPOLIS (NEWS 1130) — Three former Minneapolis police officers have been charged with aiding and abetting Derek Chauvin, whose charge in the killing of George Floyd has been upgraded to second-degree murder.

The new charges were filed Wednesday by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who said Floyd’s “life had value and we will seek justice.”

Floyd’s family had demanded the arrest of all four police officers involved in his death on Memorial Day.

All four officers have since been fired. Video from the arrest shows Thomas Lane and J.A. Keung helping restrain Floyd, while Tou Thao stood near the others.

This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by him and the other Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Kueng, Lane and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Chauvin, a Caucasian officer, was seen in the same video with his knee on Floyd’s neck before the unarmed black man — who pleaded that he could not breathe — died, sparking more than a week of violent protests.

Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Two autopsies determined Floyd died by homicide.

The Minneapolis Police chief said all of the officers were “complicit” in Floyd’s death.

Floyd’s family, on Wednesday, visited a makeshift shrine at the Minneapolis street corner where he died.

The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, also repeated his call for all four officers to be charged.

“He died because he was starving for air,” Ben Crump said. “He needed a breath. So we are demanding justice. We expect all of the police officers to be arrested before we have the memorial here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, tomorrow.”

Crump said the other officers failed to protect a man who was pleading for help and said he couldn’t breathe.

Crump pointed to the criminal complaint against Chauvin, which said that while Floyd was complaining he couldn’t breathe, Lane asked Chauvin twice if they should roll him on his side. Chauvin said they should keep him on his stomach.

Meanwhile, the state of Minnesota has launched a civil rights investigation against the Minneapolis Police Department in hopes of forcing widespread changes following the death of Floyd.