'We Have Evidence': Charges of Murder, Manslaughter for Police Officer Who Killed George Floyd

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Posted: May 29, 2020 2:56 PM
'We Have Evidence': Charges of Murder, Manslaughter for Police Officer Who Killed George Floyd

Source: AP Photo/John Minchillo

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman confirmed on Friday afternoon that former police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd on Monday. 

In a press conference from Minneapolis on Friday, Freeman described the charges saying that substantial evidence came together as of today that led the attorney's office to file the charges. He did not specifically name the specific pieces of evidence that were being used. Chauvin was taken into custody just hours before the announcement of charges against him. 

"This case has moved with extraordinary speed," Freeman said. "We have never charged a case in that kind of time frame, and we can only charge a case when we have sufficient admissible evidence to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. As of right now, we have that."

Freeman noted that the medical examiner's report, video recordings from civilians, expert analysis, officers' body cameras, and witness statements were all factors in the decision to charge Chauvin. Freeman said that the other three officers involved were not yet being charged but he felt they would probably face charges in the future. 

"We felt it appropriate to focus on the most dangerous persecutor ... I'm not going to speculate today of the other officers," Freeman said. "They are under investigation. I anticipate charges but I am not going to get into that. Today we are talking about former officer Chauvin, which we believe has met the standard to be charged and that's what we have done."

Details of the evidence used in the charges against Chauvin are further detailed in the prosecutor complaint, Freeman noted. He said those details will be made public in the near future as well as more information on possible charges against the other three officers. 

George Floyd, 46, died on Monday as Chauvin kneeled on his neck following an arrest for holding a counterfeit $20 bill. Floyd pleaded with Chauvin to release his neck and said, "I can't breathe," as he laid face down on the sidewalk. All four involved officers were fired within days. 

Riots and looting has overtaken Minneapolis in the wake of Floyd's death and have been followed by Black Lives Matter protests all over the country. Protesters have called for Chauvin's arrest since Monday in a quest to get justice for Floyd, but Freeman said just yesterday that he may not have a criminal charge to file. With today's announcement, that skepticism is gone. 

As of Friday afternoon Derek Chauvin remains in police custody. Townhall's Julio Rosas is on the ground in Minneapolis covering the public outcry over Floyd's tragic death.