After four days of public outcry and social unrest following the fatal arrest of George Floyd on Memorial Day, fired police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
Chauvin was the officer seen in the video pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for at least seven minutes as he lay face down and handcuffed on the pavement until he became unresponsive. Floyd was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Prior to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s announcement on Friday, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced that Chauvin had been taken into the custody of the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
The arrest and charges today mark a swift change from the previous day when during joint press conference with federal and state investigators, Freeman stated he needed more time to go over the evidence and alluded to there being evidence that might not warrant a criminal charge. He walked back that comment on the Hennepin County Facebook page shortly after the conference.
Today’s announcements come at the end of one of the most turbulent weeks in Minneapolis history resulting in over 100 businesses being looted or destroyed by fire along Lake Street in South Minneapolis and surrounding areas. The 3rd Precinct police station was also set on fire and burned through the night.
Freeman said the charges of Chauvin will be released Friday afternoon. He also said he anticipated more charges against the other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest.
The MSR will continue to follow this story as it develops.