(SOURCE: The Washington Post) – Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison plans to upgrade charges against the former Minneapolis police officer who pinned George Floyd to the ground by his neck and add charges of aiding and abetting murder against three former officers who were at the scene, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Derek Chauvin, who was captured on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd struggled for air, will now be charged with second-degree murder, the newspaper reported. Facing charges of aiding and abetting are Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng. In footage of the encounter, Lane briefly pointed a gun at Floyd and later asked whether he should be rolled to his side. Kueng helped restrain Floyd, while Thao stood watch as an increasingly distraught crowd of onlookers protested that he could not breathe.
The charges come after days of protest and unrest that started in Minneapolis and spread across the nation. Throngs of peaceful demonstrators marched through city streets to show their anger and demand change, at times clashing with police. Vandalism, looting and other violence, meanwhile, have caused officials in multiple states to set curfews and call in the National Guard.
Floyd’s family has repeatedly called for the arrests of the other three officers involved in the encounter outside of corner store Cup Foods, which began when the 46-year-old father and security guard was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill. On Wednesday, Floyd’s son Quincy visited the growing memorial outside the store with family attorney Ben Crump, who again called for the officers to face charges.
“We are confident that Attorney General Keith Ellison is working vigorously to do the right thing and what is the right thing to make sure that George Floyd’s family is afforded justice by holding these officers accountable to the full extent of the law,” Crump said. “Each and every one.”
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