Cop who killed George Floyd... Derek Chauvin charged with third-degree murder

The white police office who caused the death of a black man George Floyd in Minneapolis has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

In a viral video, Derek Chauvin was seen pinning George Floyd's neck to the ground for more than 8 minutes, as he begged for air and his mother.

Passers-by recorded the video of Floyd pleading "I can't breathe," as Chauvin kneeled on his neck for exactly 8 minutes and 45 seconds on Monday night, according to state charging documents, citing footage from officers' body cameras.

That deadly time span allegedly included 2 minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd passed out. Chauvin should have known "that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous," the charge read.

"Derek Michael Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd by his culpable negligence, creating an unreasonable risk and taking a chance of causing death or great bodily harm to George Floyd," the court documents said.

Floyd had been handcuffed for allegedly passing a phony $20 bill at the corner store.

He refused to get into a squad car and was "intentionally falling down," saying he was claustrophobic and struggling to breathe, according to the court papers

"While standing outside the car, Mr. Floyd began saying and repeating that he could not breathe," the document said.

When the cuffed Floyd was eventually put facedown on the pavement, the "defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck," according to prosecutors.

"Mr. Floyd said, 'I can’t breathe' multiple times and repeatedly said, 'Mama' and 'please,' as well."

One of Chauvin's colleagues suggested rolling Floyd on to his side but Chauvin allegedly said, "No, staying put where we got him.”

When Floyd stopped moving, Officer J. Alexander Kueng "checked Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, 'I couldn’t find one.' None of the officers moved from their positions," the complaint said.

The medical examiner found no evidence that Floyd died from traumatic asphyxia or strangulation, the prosecutors said.

Instead, Floyd had coronary artery and hypertensive heart disease and, “the combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death," according to the documents.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who announced Chauvin's charges, said investigation into the other three officers who were present at the scene on Monday was ongoing.

He said anticipated more charges to come, possibly against some of the other three officers.

He said investigation into the other three officers who were present at the scene on Monday was ongoing, Mr. Freeman said.

“The investigation is ongoing," Freeman said, "We felt it was appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator. This case has moved with extraordinary speed.”

Just 24 hours earlier, Freeman had said the case still needed more investigation.

But by Friday, Freeman said enough evidence had been gathered.

"All of that has come together and we felt, in our professional judgement, it was time to charge," Freeman told reporters.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI are both investigating Floyd’s death. The state bureau arrested Chauvin on Friday in Minneapolis.

Under Minnesota statutes, third-degree murder means an offender did not intend to kill, but that someone died “by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.”

First-degree murder is defined as a slaying that includes "premeditation and with intent to effect the death of the person or of another." Second-degree murder is often applied to drive-by shootings or other killings while the offender is "intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon the victim."

A conviction for third-degree murder could land an offender in prison for up to 25 years.

Floyd's family, represented by civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, welcomed the arrest but said the officer should be facing a first-degree murder charge.

"The arrest of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the brutal killing of George Floyd is a welcome but overdue step on the road to justice. We expected a first-degree murder charge," according to a family statement from Crump's office.

"And we want to see the other officers arrested. We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer."

Chauvin was also charged with second-degree manslaughter, a charge that requires prosecutors to prove he was so negligent as to create an “unreasonable risk,” and consciously took the chance that his actions would cause Floyd to be severely harmed or die.


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