The public has protested for nine consecutive nights following George Floyd’s death on May 25 and one of the goals—that all four of the Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD) officers who were on the scene for the deadly encounter are charged—has been met, national reports, including CNN, USA Today and the Washington Post, confirmed today (June 4).
Along with former officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes and was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on May 29, faces a new charge of second-degree murder; former officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao have also been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
“I believe the evidence available to us now supports the stronger charge of second-degree murder,” Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison said as he announced the charges during a video press conference. To explain why Ellison said: “According to Minnesota law you have to have premeditation and deliberation to charge first-degree murder. Second-degree murder, you have to intend for death to be the result. For second-degree felony murder, you have to intend the felony and then death be the result without necessarily having it be the intent. The felony is that we would contend that George Floyd was assaulted.”
On June 2, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced a civil rights investigation into the MPD. Chauvin, who has been at the Minnesota Department of Corrections in Oak Park since last week, has seen his bail increase to $1 million, the same amount that Lane, Kueng and Thao are held under, CNN reports. In a tweet shared by lawyer Benjamin Crump, the family called the news “a bittersweet moment.”
FAMILY’S REACTION: This is a bittersweet moment. We are deeply gratified that @AGEllison took decisive action, arresting & charging ALL the officers involved in #GeorgeFloyd’s death & upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder. #JusticeForGeorge pic.twitter.com/jTfXFHpsYl— Benjamin Crump, Esq. (@AttorneyCrump) June 3, 2020
Today (June 4), the Floyd family will take time to privately memorialize Floyd’s life at North Central University in Minneapolis. As Crump said on the Today Show, “It’s also going to be a plea to America, and a plea for justice, that we don’t let his death be in vain.”
The funeral service will be live-streamed here at 2pm EST.