Ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin Charged in Death of George Floyd

May 29, 2020by Briana Bierschbach, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (TNS)
Protesters march down a highway off-ramp on May 28, 2020 on their way to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Police and protesters continued to clash for a third night after George Floyd was killed in police custody on Monday. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/TNS)

MINNEAPOLIS — Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter.

Freeman said this moved with extraordinary speed, that the investigation is continuing into other three officers, Freeman says. He said they have never charged a case this quickly before.

Earlier, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said he just received information that the officer identified as Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd has been taken into custody by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

There was no more information on charging, because that’s in the jurisdiction of the Hennepin County Attorney, Harrington said.

County Attorney Mike Freeman announced a news conference for 1 p.m. Friday at the Ridgedale Public Library to announce a “major development” in the case.

Harrington only mentioned that one officer had been arrested; no word yet on the other three Minneapolis police officers who have been fired.

Chauvin is the officer shown in a viral video kneeling for minutes on the neck of George Floyd, who begged for relief, saying repeatedly, “Please. I can’t breathe.” Floyd was pronounced dead later at HCMC.

A somber Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz vowed to restore order Friday after a third night of protests and violence in response to George Floyd’s death in police custody led to the breach and destruction of a Minneapolis police precinct and dozens of other buildings across the city.

“What the world has witnessed since the killing of George Floyd on Monday has been a visceral pain, a community trying to understand who we are and where we go from here,” he said. “We have to restore order to our society before we can start addressing the issues, before we turn back to where we should be spending our energy: making sure justice is served.”

Walz, who activated the National Guard on Thursday to respond to the unrest, acknowledged that the rampage that left hundreds of stores looted and a major Minneapolis police precinct house torched was “one of our darkest chapters.” He also called authorities’ inability to control the widespread fires and vandalism Thursday night “an abject failure.”

He also publicly apologized to CNN President Jeff Zucker for the arrests of a television crew that had been covering the protests on Lake Street early Friday. Walz said he spoke to Zucker and immediately intervened to release the journalists, who were arrested on live television. “I take full responsibility,” Walz said, adding that the TV crew’s detention by State Patrol had been “inexcusable.”

Jon Jensen, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, said there was a lack of clarity on the “mission” of the Guard in responding to the protests ahead of time. He had some concerns before were even dispatched. “We never got such mission description.”

State Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington called Floyd’s death at the hands of police a “murder” during a morning press conference with the governor. “That’s what it looked like to me.”

Walz and other state and city leaders were silent for much of the previous evening, leading to widespread criticism that they weren’t doing enough to respond to the fires and destruction happening across the city.

President Donald Trump weighed in, criticizing the city for a “total lack of leadership and saying he would send in the federal troops to “get the job done right.”

Walz called Trump’s remarks — including a tweet that referred to shooting looters — “unhelpful.”

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©2020 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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