Murder charge upgraded for officer who kneeled on George Floyd's neck, three others charged

| 04.06,20. 08:24 AM |

Murder charge upgraded for officer who kneeled on George Floyd's neck, three others charged

Derek Chauvin is being held in a maximum security prison.(AP Via Hennepin Country Sheriff)

The former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on the neck of George Floyd during the incident which led to his death is now facing a charge of second-degree unintentional murder.

Derek Chauvin had previously been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

As he upgraded the charge, Minnesota Attorney-General Keith Ellison also charged the former officers who were with Mr Chauvin during the incident — Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

All four were sacked shortly after video of the incident came to light.

Mr Floyd's family believe the former police officer should be facing a first-degree murder charge, their lawyer Benjamin Crump said following the announcement.

Mr Floyd died in police custody after Mr Chauvin knelt on his neck for around eight minutes.

Video from the incident shows bystanders repeatedly asking Mr Chauvin to withdraw from Mr Floyd.

Mr Floyd repeatedly cried "I can't breathe" while calling out for his mother. He died in handcuffs with his face pressed to the street.

A US medical examiner's report later ruled his death was a homicide.

"We're here today because George Floyd is not here. He should be here. He should be alive, but he's not," Mr Ellison said at a news conference.

"I believe the evidence available to us now supports a stronger charge of second-degree murder."

In the week since Mr Floyd's death, protests against his treatment and broader institutionalised racism have erupted in America and around the globe.


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