A Minnesota prosecutor has charged a police officer with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the restraint death of George Floyd.
Floyd is the handcuffed black man whose cries of “I can’t breathe” in a widely seen cellphone video set off days of violent protests in Minneapolis and around the country.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Friday that he may yet bring more charges against the officer, Derek Chauvin.
Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, meanwhile, said that state investigators had arrested Chauvin.
The white officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes in the video.
UPDATE: Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter for the death of #GeorgeFloyd, says the prosecutor.
The other 3 officers are under investigation pic.twitter.com/akOMvTgQLa
— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 29, 2020
Floyd can be seen gradually becoming motionless as Chauvin and three other officers ignored bystanders’ shouts to get off him.
Floyd was pronounced dead at a Minneapolis hospital in an incident that began when police responded to a report of a man passing a counterfeit bill in a grocery store on Memorial Day.
The charges came after Minneapolis has been rocked by three days of protests, including looting, scores of fires and the burning of a police precinct station on Thursday even after the governor called out the National Guard.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday acknowledged the “abject failure” of the response to this week’s violent protests. Walz said the state would take over the response and that it’s time to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering.
Walz’s comments came after protesters torched a police station that officers abandoned during a third night of violence.
Livestream video showed protesters entering the building, where intentionally set fires activated smoke alarms and sprinklers.
Meanwhile, attorneys for the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are calling for an independent investigation of the actions leading to Floyd’s death. They also want national reforms in response to the three deaths.
Attorney Ben Crump said during a news conference Friday that he’s asked to take custody of Floyd’s body for an independent autopsy.
He and attorney Lee Merritt said they want murder charges brought against each of the four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest. And they want the Minnesota attorney general to take over the investigation.
Crump says the families from Georgia, Kentucky and now Minnesota have all had to dispel narratives from law enforcement that their loved ones “brought this upon themselves.”
They cited an initial report in Floyd’s case that said he threatened police and died of a medical condition.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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