Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said that he will elevate charges against the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck while adding charges of aiding and abetting murder against the other three officers at the scene, according to CNN and other sources.
In the recorded evidence video, former officer Derek Chauvin, was kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 8 minutes as Floyd begged for air on May 25th. Chauvin will now be charged with second-degree murder.
“I can assure you we are taking a fresh look,” Ellison told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “We plan to hold everyone accountable who is legally culpable,” he said, explaining that while he has spent the last 24 hours reviewing evidence, he cannot ethically comment as a prosecutor.
“We are looking very carefully at holding everybody accountable who failed to do their duty and fell below the legal requirements of their position, or did something affirmatively that would be in violation of the law,” Ellison said.
“When we are ready, and that won’t be long from now, we plan on taking the proper and deliberate action,” he said.
The other three officers at the scene — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — will also be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, according to multiple sources. Chauvin was arrested last Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Thao was recorded watching as Chauvin continued to press on Floyd’s neck with his knee. Kueng was one of the first officers on the scene and helped pin Floyd down. Lane was detailed in earlier charges as pointing a gun at Floyd before handcuffing and later asked whether officers should roll Floyd on his side as he was restrained.
The charges come just days after Gov. Tim Walz asked Ellison to take over the prosecution, which until Sunday had been led by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
The Floyd family has issued a joint statement with their attorney regarding the upgraded charge against Chauvin and the arrest of the three other officers involved:
“This is a bittersweet moment for the family of George Floyd,” said the joint statement by Floyd’s family and their legal team. “We are deeply gratified that Attorney General Keith Ellison took decisive action in this case, arresting and charging all the officers involved in George Floyd’s death and upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder.”
Attorneys for the officers declined to comment or could not be immediately reached Wednesday.
“This is a significant step forward on the road to justice, and we are gratified that this important action was brought before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest,” the family’s and Crump’s statement said. “That is a source of peace for George’s family in this painful time.”
The statement urged Ellison to continue the investigation and upgrade the charges to first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence.
First-degree murder requires proof of planning out the crime.
A “plan” of the crime may not be too far fetched as many reports are coming out that Chauvin actually…