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3 more cops charged in George Floyd death, other officer’s murder charge upgraded

By Fabrice Pierre-Toussaint

Staff Writer for Telegraph Local | See my LinkedIn

Three former Minneapolis police officers will be criminally charged Wednesday in connection with the death of George Floyd, Sen. Amy Klobuchar wrote in a post on Twitter.

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In addition, Derek Chauvin, a former officer who had already been charged with third-degree murder in the case, will now be charged with second-degree murder, the Minnesota lawmaker wrote.

Klobuchar did not detail the charges that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison plans to file against the three other ex-cops: Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane.

A local newspaper, the StarTribune, earlier said the trio will be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, citing sources. 

The ex-cops had assisted Derek Chauvin, in arresting Floyd on Memorial Day on the suspicion that Floyd passed a counterfeit bill. 

Chauvin, who is white, was charged on Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after video footage emerged showing him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd, a black man, lay handcuffed, crying out that he could not breathe.

The video shows that Chauvin continued to keep the knee of Floyd’s neck even after Floyd became unresponsive. Floyd’s death has sparked widespread protests against police violence in dozens of cities across the country. 

Floyd’s relatives had called via its attorneys for charges against Lane, Thao and Kueng. The family also has demanded that Chauvin face an upgraded charge of first-degree murder, which would expose him to a longer possible prison sentence if he is convicted.

The criminal complaint against Chauvin details Kueng’s and Lane’s actions during Floyd’s arrest. According to the complaint, Kueng held Floyd’s back and Lane held his legs.

At one point, Kueng checked for a pulse, and said “I couldn’t find one,” according to the complaint. But he and the other cops stayed in their positions for approximately two more minutes.

Floyd repeatedly told the officers that he could not breathe, cried out for his deceased mother, and asked the officers “please,” the complaint against Chauvin reads.

Overall, Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, including for nearly three minutes after Floyd became unresponsive, according to the complaint. 

In an emotional speech on Wednesday, Ben Crump, the attorney for Floyd’s family, said Floyd “cried out for anybody who would listen.”

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“It seemed like the lay people on the street were listening. The people who refused to listen were the people who were supposed to listen,” Crump said, speaking from the site where Floyd was killed.

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