Story at a glance

  • Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the charges against Chauvin Friday.
  • Freeman said the investigation into three other officers involved in George Floyd’s death is ongoing.
  • Chauvin was caught on camera kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while he was detained. He died shortly after.

The ex-Minneapolis police officer caught on camera kneeling on a black man’s neck for several minutes just before his death Monday has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday afternoon. 

“We are in the process of continuing to review the evidence,” Freeman said during a news conference where he announced Derek Chauvin was arrested this morning in Minneapolis. “There may be subsequent charges later.” 


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Freeman said the investigation into three other officers involved in George Floyd’s death is ongoing, as his office prioritized the case against Chauvin. The officers have been identified as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng. All officers involved were fired Tuesday. 

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Authorities have been criticized for not arresting Chauvin sooner, but Freeman said only four days passed since Floyd’s death, noting charges typically take nine months to a year as prosecutors have a high burden of proof in criminal cases against officers. 

“We can only charge a case when we have sufficient admissible evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Freeman said, adding “as of right now, we have that.” 

Minneapolis has been embroiled in days of violent protests following the release of a video taken by a bystander showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes as he pleaded with the former officer he could not breathe.

Police said Tuesday Floyd had matched the description of a suspect in a forgery case and resisted arrest before being restrained and handcuffed. A second video of the incident shows a total of three officers on top of Floyd as he’s lying on his stomach handcuffed. 

“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd pleaded with the officers. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please. I can’t breathe.”

Floyd was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he died. 


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Published on May 29, 2020