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2nd degree murder for Chauvin, 3 other officers charged in Floyd death

Derek Chauvin/ Courtesy Hennepin County Sheriff

MN AG Keith Ellison - 'His life had value, and we will seek justice.'

Posted: Jun 3, 2020 1:11 PM
Updated: Jun 3, 2020 7:34 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors on Wednesday expanded their case against the police who were at the scene of George Floyd's death, charging three of the officers with aiding and abetting a murder and upgrading the charges against the officer who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck to second-degree murder.

The most serious charge was filed against Derek Chauvin, whose caught-on-video treatment of the handcuffed Floyd spurred worldwide protests. Three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. All four were fired last week.

The new charges were sought by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who called the protests unleashed by the death “dramatic and necessary” and said Floyd “should be here and he is not.”

“His life had value, and we will seek justice,” Ellison said.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Floyd’s family, called it “a bittersweet moment” and “a significant step forward on the road to justice.” Crump said Elison had told the family he would continue his investigation into Floyd’s death and upgrade the charge to first-degree murder if warranted.

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

Governor Tim Walz released the following statement on Ellison’s decision:

“I laid flowers at George Floyd’s memorial this morning. As a former high school history teacher, I looked up at the mural of George’s face painted above and I reflected on what his death will mean for future generations. What will our young people learn about this moment? Will his death be just another blip in a textbook? Or will it go down in history as when our country turned toward justice and change?”

“It’s on each of us to determine that answer.”

“The charges announced by Attorney General Keith Ellison today are a meaningful step toward justice for George Floyd. But we must also recognize that the anguish driving protests around the world is about more than one tragic incident.”

“George Floyd’s death is the symptom of a disease. We will not wake up one day and have the disease of systemic racism cured for us. This is on each of us to solve together, and we have hard work ahead.”

“We owe that much to George Floyd, and we owe that much to each other.”

Ellison's move powerfully punctuated an unprecedented week in modern American history, in which largely peaceful protests took place in communities of all sizes but were rocked by bouts of violence, including deadly attacks on officers, rampant thefts and arson in some places.

Earlier Wednesday, in a visit to a makeshift shrine at the street corner where Floyd died, his family had again called for the arrests of Lane, Kueng and Thao, a demand echoed by their attorney.

“We are demanding justice,” Crump said.

Some of the rockiness of the days since Floyd's death May 25 dissipated on Tuesday night, with demonstrations continuing around the country, but without major reports of violence.

Curfews and efforts by protesters to contain earlier flare-ups of lawlessness were credited with preventing more widespread damage to businesses in New York and other cities overnight.

“Last night we took a step forward in moving out of this difficult period we’ve had the last few days and moving to a better time,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

New York police said about 280 people were arrested on protest-related charges Tuesday night, compared with 700 a day earlier. Nationwide, more than 9,000 have been arrested in connection with unrest.

At least 12 deaths have been reported, though the circumstances in many cases are still being sorted out.

Some tense incidents continued Tuesday night, but were far less prevalent than in preceding days. Police and National Guard troops used tear gas, flash-bang grenades, nonlethal rounds and other means of dispersing crowds near a police precinct in Seattle, near Centennial Park in Atlanta and at demonstrations in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida.

Minnesota has opened a civil rights investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department has a pattern of discrimination against minorities.

Floyd's death sparked protests around the world.

Pope Francis called for national reconciliation and peace, saying he has ‘’witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest’’ in the U.S.

“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life,’’ he said Wednesday.

President Donald Trump has pushed the nation’s governors to take a hard line against the violence, saying Tuesday that “lowlifes and losers” were taking over New York’s streets.

He again tweeted Wednesday: “LAW & ORDER!”

More than 20,000 National Guard members have been called up in 29 states to deal with the violence.

In Philadelphia, a statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo was removed by the city early Wednesday after repeatedly being targeted by vandals. Rizzo presided over a police force widely accused of racism and brutality in the 1970s.

Some protesters framed the burgeoning movement as a necessity after a long list of killings by police.

“It feels like it’s just been an endless cascade of hashtags of black people dying, and it feels like nothing’s really being done by our political leaders to actually enact real change,” said Christine Ohenzuwa, 19, who attended a peaceful protest at the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul.

“There’s always going to be a breaking point. I think right now, we’re seeing the breaking point around the country.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 42772

Reported Deaths: 1542
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin13697791
Ramsey5313234
Dakota275396
Stearns253619
Anoka2458111
Nobles16946
Washington130641
Olmsted130220
Mower9872
Scott8994
Rice8928
Clay62038
Kandiyohi5951
Blue Earth5862
Wright5475
Carver5002
Todd4042
Sherburne3725
Lyon3512
Freeborn3140
Watonwan2720
Steele2501
Benton2423
St. Louis23816
Nicollet20712
Martin1755
Winona15015
Cottonwood1420
Goodhue1428
Le Sueur1361
Crow Wing11512
Otter Tail1151
Pine1150
Chisago1111
McLeod1030
Dodge990
Carlton940
Polk903
Unassigned8838
Pipestone864
Isanti830
Murray830
Chippewa811
Waseca800
Itasca7612
Douglas740
Morrison691
Becker680
Meeker661
Faribault610
Jackson580
Sibley572
Beltrami550
Pennington540
Brown492
Wabasha430
Mille Lacs412
Renville373
Fillmore360
Rock350
Swift351
Grant320
Houston320
Yellow Medicine310
Roseau280
Lincoln250
Redwood250
Koochiching221
Wilkin223
Norman210
Cass202
Big Stone180
Kanabec181
Wadena180
Aitkin160
Marshall160
Clearwater150
Mahnomen131
Pope130
Stevens110
Hubbard100
Lake90
Traverse70
Lac qui Parle50
Red Lake50
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35534

Reported Deaths: 754
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk7611185
Woodbury334944
Black Hawk253459
Buena Vista173811
Johnson14878
Dallas141531
Linn141083
Marshall110019
Scott109810
Dubuque100023
Story8778
Pottawattamie84113
Wapello71631
Muscatine69545
Crawford6813
Sioux5050
Tama48829
Webster4295
Wright3991
Louisa36713
Jasper35717
Plymouth3535
Warren3371
Cerro Gordo3291
Dickinson3073
Washington2559
Hamilton2041
Boone1751
Clay1511
Clarke1453
Clinton1391
Allamakee1384
Mahaska11917
Shelby1190
Carroll1171
Bremer1167
Franklin1130
Poweshiek1128
Pocahontas1091
Des Moines1022
Emmet970
Cedar961
Henry933
Hardin920
Cherokee851
Marion840
Floyd822
Guthrie814
Taylor810
Benton781
Monona780
Jones741
Butler702
Osceola690
Sac680
Jackson670
Buchanan651
Calhoun652
Iowa631
Jefferson630
Hancock621
Harrison620
Lyon610
Humboldt601
Fayette590
Delaware581
Madison562
Lee542
Mills530
Palo Alto530
Monroe527
Clayton503
Winneshiek500
Grundy470
Mitchell470
Winnebago440
Davis431
Kossuth430
Union430
Howard370
Lucas354
Unassigned350
Chickasaw310
Greene310
Cass300
Worth270
Appanoose243
Keokuk241
Ida230
Page220
Van Buren211
Audubon181
Adair170
Ringgold161
Montgomery152
Decatur130
Fremont110
Wayne110
Adams80
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