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According to court documents filed in court, Derek Chauvin, arrested Friday in the case of the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, was charged with an additional, more serious count of second degree murder.
The added charge, under Minnesota law for a crime that inadvertently caused the death of another person, could carry a 40-year sentence, 15 years more than the maximum sentence for third-degree murder.
Chauvin, 44, was the white officer who was seen on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes in widely circulated video footage, as Floyd gasped for air and moaned repeatedly, “Please, I can’t breathe Could, “before rising motionless until the spectators shouted at the police. Let him get up
(From left: Derek Chauvin, J Alexander Queng, Thomas Lane and Tow.)
Floyd, who was suspected by police of trying to pass a fake bill to pay for cigarettes, was pronounced dead in a hospital on May 25, shortly after a fatal encounter.
Three fellow officers from the Minneapolis Police Department were sacked the next day Wednesday along with Chauvin, charged with the first time in the case – each with second-degree murder and aiding and abetting antisocial murder.
All three of them – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tu Thao have also been taken into custody. Supporting and pursuing second-degree murder carries the same maximum sentence as the underlying offense – 40 years in prison.
Floyd’s death has become the latest flashpoint for a prolonged fury against police brutality against African Americans, sparking the highly charged issue of racial justice at the top of the political agenda ahead of the US presidential election on 3 November.
Scenes of protesters of all ethnicities flooding the streets – mostly peaceful but sometimes with arson, looting and skirmishes with police – provoke a sense of crisis but also anticipate change.
Massive public activity led to a lockout for weeks due to the coronovirus epidemic, which forced millions of Americans out of work and disaffected minorities.
Month of testing
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a black former US Congressman, has requested $ 1 million bail for each of the four former court officials.
When reached by Reuters over the phone, Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, said he had not yet received any information about the allegations. Lawyers for other officials charged in the case did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“This is an important step on the road to justice, and we are grateful that this important action was taken before George Floyd’s body was put to rest,” Floyd family lawyer Benjamin Crump said in a statement.
At an afternoon news conference, Ellison said winning a conviction would be “hard,” noting that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, whose office filed the original charges against Chauvin, is the state’s only prosecutor for the murder. Successfully convicted a police officer. .
A thorough investigation into the case “is going to take months,” he said. The protesters had sought to widen the case to include all the officers present during the incident.
After Floyd’s death there were overnight protests in Minneapolis and elsewhere and since then it has spread to dozens of large and small cities in the United States.
In many cities, night-time curfew violators have been found by police to disperse unruly crowds with tear gas, mace and rubber bullets firing riot gear. National Guard troops have been activated in several states to assist local law enforcement.
Authorities and some protest organizers have taken advantage of the situation, accusing the outside agitators and criminal elements of a lot of chaos.
The protests remained mostly peaceful till Wednesday and clashes between police and protesters increased.
Republican President Donald Trump has said justice should be done in Floyd’s case, but also used a tight line against violent protests, threatening to use the military to restore order.
Defense Secretary Mark Osho said that he did not deploy troops to patrol the country.
“The option of using active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a last resort and only in the most urgent and critical situations. We are not in one of those situations,” he said in a news briefing. .
The protesters marched through the city of Washington again on Wednesday evening, stating, “No justice, no peace,” and “Black lives matter.” Another group gathered near the White House and Lafayette Square, where US Park Police drove peaceful protesters out of the park on Monday, before Trump walked through the park to a church to hold a Bible for cameras.
On the South Minneapolis Street Corner where Floyd was arrested, a crowd of hundreds stood with vigil on Wednesday, some crying with their fists in the air.
“These are baby steps,” said 54-year-old Kenneth Williams, a veteran of the US Navy. “Someone should have stepped on the scene that day and done something.”
“The police has been avoiding it for many years, but now we have cameras,” he said.
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