Former Minnesota Police Officer Charged With Murder in Death of George Floyd

Dave McNary

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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen on video using his knee to pin down George Floyd, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, who made the Friday announcement at a brief news conference, said he did not have information about the charges, or about the status of three other officers who were at the scene of Floyd’s arrest.

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Chauvin was captured on video May 25 pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck as the handcuffed 46-year-old Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” Floyd later died.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said at a separate news conference earlier Friday that the unrest in Minneapolis and St. Paul this week is the result of “generations of pain, of anguish” over racism in policing.

“Their voices went unheard, and now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world,” Walz said. “And the world is watching.”

Protesters have demanded that four now-fired officers be arrested in the case. Chauvin is the first to be taken into custody. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he anticipated charges against the other three officers involved in the incident.

“We entrust our police officers to use certain amounts of force to do their job to protect us,” Freeman said. “They commit a criminal act if they use this force unreasonably.”

Freeman said the evidence in the case includes a cell phone video of the incident, body worn cameras, witness statements, a preliminary report from medical examiner, and discussions with an expert.

Floyd’s death set off days of protests in Minneapolis and across the country as demonstrators also spoke out against other recent killings of black men and women.

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