Charge for Officer in Floyd Case Upgraded, Other Officers Now Facing Charges


Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison upgraded charges against the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck and added charges against the other officers who were at the scene.

Ellison elevated the charges against former officer Derek Chauvin to second-degree murder, according to the Star Tribune. He still faces charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The amended complaint filed against the former officer says, “Police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous.

“Officer Chauvin’s restraint of Mr. Floyd in this manner for a prolonged period was a substantial factor in Mr. Floyd losing consciousness, constituting substantial bodily harm, and Mr. Floyd’s death as well,” the complaint read.

Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — the three other officers at the scene — were also charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony and with culpable negligence, both categorized as unintentional felonies.

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Ellison is expected to discuss the elevated charges and provide an update on the state’s investigation of the case Wednesday afternoon.

Chauvin was fired immediately following the incident after 19 years on the police force, along with the three other officers, and was arrested last Friday.

According to the Star Tribune, Kueng was one of the first officers on the scene and helped pin Floyd to the ground, and Thao watched the events that led to Floyd’s death unfold.

Separate charges said Lane pointed a gun at Floyd before he was handcuffed and asked the officers if they should roll the man on his side.

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Before Ellison made his announcement, Floyd’s family attorney Benjamin Crump released a statement praising the decision.

“This is a bittersweet moment for the family of George Floyd,” said the joint statement by Floyd’s family, Crump and the legal team.

“We are deeply gratified that Attorney General Keith Ellison took decisive action in this case, arresting and charging all the officers involved in George Floyd’s death and upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder.

“This is a significant step forward on the road to justice, and we are gratified that this important action was brought before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest.”

The statement added, “That is a source of peace for George’s family in this painful time.”

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Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar also praised the decision on Twitter, saying “This is another important step for justice.”

The updated charges come days after Ellison was asked on Sunday to take over the prosecution by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith