The now former police officer Derek Chauvin who was seen in a video that swept social media platforms by storm kneeling on George Floyd’s neck which later on caused his death has been arrested and charged. This is according to Mike Freeman the Hennepin Couty Attorney.
A criminal complaint, issued Friday, details the following:
A 911 call was placed Monday, reporting a man who made purchases from Cup Foods along Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, reportedly using a counterfeit $20 bill.
Two officers responded, with active body cameras. Those officers learned from store employees that the man who made purchases was parked in a vehicle just around the corner.
Video obtained from the BCA showed the two officers approached the vehicle. Floyd was identified as being in the vehicle’s driver seat, and another man and woman were passengers in the vehicle.
One of the officers pulled his gun and pointed it at Floyd’s open window, directing Floyd to show his hands. Floyd complied and the officer placed his gun back in the holster.
The officer then ordered Floyd out of the vehicle, placed his hands on Floyd and pulled him out of the vehicle. At that point, the officer handcuffed Floyd, which Floyd resisted. The officer asked for Floyd’s name and identification, also asking if Floyd was “on anything” and stated he was arresting Floyd for using counterfeit money.
As the officer walked Floyd to the nearby police vehicle, Floyd stiffened up and told officers he was claustrophobic. Floyd resisted getting into the backseat of the police vehicle and fell to the ground.
At this point, now-former officer Derek Chauvin and a third officer arrived in a separate police vehicle.
While outside the police vehicle, Floyd began repeating he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin attempted to get Floyd into the police vehicle, with another officer’s assistance. When that attempt didn’t work, Floyd fell again to the ground. One officer held Floyd’s back and another held his legs.
Chauvin then placed his left knee on Floyd’s head and neck. Floyd repeated the words “I can’t breathe,” “mama,” and “please.”
As Floyd continued to move back and forth, one officer asked, “Should we roll him on his side?,” to which Chauvin replied, “No, staying where we got him.”
Another officer said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever,” to which Chauvin replied, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.”
Body-worn camera video show Floyd stopped moving at 8:24 p.m. and stopped speaking a minute later, becoming unresponsive. At that point, an officer checked for Floyd’s pulse and reported not being able to find one.
Chauvin removed his knee from Floyd’s neck at 8:27 p.m. and an ambulance called to the scene arrived. Floyd was placed on a gurney and taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy revealed there were no findings of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. According to the autopsy, Floyd had underlying health conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease, which combined with “any potential intoxicants in his system” likely contributed to his death.
The complaint concludes by stating Chauvin “had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds in total. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive. Police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous.”
In addition to Chauvin, the city of Minneapolis identified three other now-former police officers involved in this incident as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng.
Arresting officer in George Floyd case taken into custody by BCA
Freeman said it’s the fastest his department has ever charged a police officer, but said they, “felt it important to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator.”
As for the three other officers fired in connection to Floyd’s death, Freeman said, “they are under investigation, I anticipate charges.” However, as of Friday afternoon, they were not in custody.
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When asked if public outrage played a role, Freeman responded, “I’m not insensitive to what is happening in the streets,” but added that evidence led to the charges.
Community leader response
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey released the following statement in regards to the announcement:
“What’s happened in Minneapolis is bigger than any one city and any single event,” said Frey. “For our Black community who have, for centuries, been forced to endure injustice in a world simply unwilling to correct or acknowledge it: I know that whatever hope you feel today is tempered with skepticism and a righteous outrage.
“We are a nation at a crossroad, and today’s decision from the County Attorney is an essential first step on a longer road toward justice and healing our city.”