Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has upgraded accusations against former Minneapolis police officer George Floyd who was stabbed to the ground in the neck and added charges of aiding and abetting the killing of three former officers at the scene.
Derek Chauvin, who was caught on video playing kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd was struggling, is now charged with second-degree murder. Dealing with the charges of assist and interruption were Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng. In the footage of the encounter, Lane briefly pointed a gun at Floyd and then asked if he should be held to his side. Kueng helped to stop Floyd, while Thao stood watching the more busy audience protesting that Floyd could not breathe.
Drew Evans, superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, told a news conference Wednesday that one of the newly charged officers was taken into custody, while the remaining two are expected to be arrested by late afternoon.
All four of these officers face the same maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
Ellison emphasized that “winning a conviction would be difficult,”; because the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office headed by the case is the only Minnesota to have a conviction for killing a police officer.
“We trust what we do, ”he said. “But history shows that there are clear challenges to it.”
The charges come after days of protests and riots started in Minneapolis and spread across the country. Crowds of more peaceful demonstrators marched through the city streets to express their anger and demand change, sometimes clashing with police. Meanwhile, finance, robbery and other violence, have caused officials in many states to set curfews and call the National Guard.
Floyd’s family has repeatedly called for the arrest of three other officers involved in the encounter outside the corner of the Cup, which began when the 46-year-old father and security guard were accused of using the a fake $ 20 bill. On Wednesday, Floyd’s son Quincy Mason visited the growing memorial outside the store with family attorney Ben Crump and called again for the charges.
“We are confident that Attorney General Keith Ellison is diligently doing the right thing, and what is the right thing? To ensure that George Floyd’s family is given justice by holding these officials accountable to the entire range of law, “Crump said. “Each.”
Tim Walz (D) on Sunday appointed Ellison to handle the prosecution, which was previously handled by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.