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Ex-Minneapolis officer involved in Floyd death asks judge to dismiss murder charge

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd after kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes, asked a judge to dismiss murder charges against him.

Chauvin’s attorneys argued in court filings Friday that there is not sufficient probable cause to sustain charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

“This motion is based upon the files and records in this case, the Minnesota Statutes, the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure, the United States and Minnesota Constitutions and upon such other and further points and authorities as may subsequently be presented to the Court,” his attorneys wrote. 

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Meanwhile, Minnesota prosecutors filed paperwork indicating they will seek an "upward sentencing departure" in the cases of Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Kiernan Lane and Tou Thao, the other officers involved in Floyd’s death. 

Minnesota Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonDerek Chauvin allowed to establish residency outside of Minnesota while awaiting trial in George Floyd case Officers in George Floyd's death appear in court, motion for separate trials Ex-Minneapolis officer involved in Floyd death asks judge to dismiss murder charge MORE, who is prosecuting the case, argued in a filing Friday that the punishment for Floyd’s death should be stricter since he was “particularly vulnerable because officers had already handcuffed him behind his back and then placed him chest down on the pavement.” 

"Mr. Floyd was treated with particular cruelty. Despite Mr. Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe and was going to die, as well as the pleas of eyewitnesses for Defendant to get off Mr. Floyd and help him, Defendant and his codefendants continued to restrain Mr. Floyd," he wrote. "Defendant kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck to hold him prone on the ground for approximately nine minutes, during at least four minutes of which Mr. Floyd was motionless. This maneuver inflicted gratuitous pain on Mr. Floyd."

The three other officers have already filed motions to dismiss charges against them, though Judge Peter Cahill has yet to rule on any of them. All four officers have already been fired. 

Floyd’s death at the end of May sparked national protests over systemic racism and police brutality that have been further fueled by additional deaths of Black Americans by police, including Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks as well as the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. 

Video of Floyd’s death swiftly went viral after footage emerged of him pleading that he couldn’t breathe while Chauvin kneeled on his neck before becoming unresponsive.