On Sunday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz asked Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over the prosecution of the four officers involved in the death of George Floyd, which until Sunday had been led by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
The Attorney General’s office has completed its review of the evidence. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports, Attorney General Keith Ellison to elevate charges against officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck; also charging other 3 involved:
Attorney General Keith Ellison plans to elevate charges against the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck while adding charges of aiding and abetting murder against the other three officers at the scene, according to multiple law enforcement sources familiar with the case.
Ellison is expected to provide an update this afternoon on the state’s investigation into Floyd’s death. According to sources, former officer Derek Chauvin, recorded on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he begged for air on May 25, will now be charged with second-degree murder.
The other three officers at the scene — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — will also be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, according to the sources, who spoke on conditions of anonymity. Chauvin was arrested last Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Thao was recorded watching as Chauvin continued to press on Floyd’s neck with his knee. Kueng was one of the first officers on the scene and helped pin Floyd down. Lane was detailed in earlier charges as pointing a gun at Floyd before handcuffing, and later asked whether officers should roll Floyd on his side as he was restrained.
One of the attorneys representing George Floyd’s family, Benjamin Crump, released a statement shortly after 1:15 p.m. Wednesday praising the arrest and charging of the other three officers and the upgrading of murder charges against Chauvin.
Crump’s statement came before Ellison’s office made any official announcements.
“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 family’s and Crump’s statement said. “That is a source of peace for George’s family in this painful time.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is giving a public statement now.
This is a developing story.
UPDATE: BREAKING: President Barack Obama will address the nation at 5pm EDT today (2 PM AZ Time) (livestreamed on http://Obama.org ) regarding George Floyd’s killing and the ongoing protests around our country.
UPDATE: The AP has the mug shots of the officers arrested for the murder of George Floyd.
This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by him and the other Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Kueng, Lane and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)