Former Minneapolis Cop Derek Chauvin Arrested In The Death Of George Floyd
Derek Chauvin, the white Minneapolis officer who knelt on the neck of George Floyd for over eight minutes until he lost consciousness, has been taken into custody according to Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, in a report from the Associated Press.
Chauvin, who was terminated along with three other offices on Monday, was arrested after days of unrest in Minneapolis, where Floyd’s heartbroken community called for justice. The three other officers have not yet faced arrest.
Following the announcement Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman revealed Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
“We are in the process of continuing to review the evidence, there may be subsequent charges later,” he said.
In response to the other three officers who have yet to face arrest, Freeman said the investigation was “ongoing.”
Black community leaders gathered in City Hall after Chauvin’s arrest was made public.
“We are not satisfied with one officer,”one of the Black woman leaders said. “All of them were complicit in his murder and they all need to be held accountable just as if it were four Black men that killed somebody. They would be under the jail right now.”
But the most important voice came from Floyd’s family through their attorney Ben Crump.
“We expected a first-degree murder charge,” the statement reads. “We want a first-degree murder charge. And we want to see the officers arrested.”
“The pain that the black community feels over this murder and what it reflects about the treatment of Black people in America is raw and is spilling out onto streets across America,” it continued. The statement also called for an examination of policing and training policies, specifically focused in non-lethal restraint.
“Floyd died because his airways were restricted by Chauvin’s knee. As an officer, your first line of duty is a first responded and to withhold employment of medical practices is a violation,” they conclude.
Floyd’s death was captured on Memorial Day as Chauvin leaned on Floyd’s neck while he pleaded for breath.
“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd can be heard saying in the video. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please. I can’t breathe.”
“You’re stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?” a man can be heard saying in the video. “His nose is bleeding. Look at his nose!” another woman says.
Minneapolis police officials initially stated Floyd physically resisted when he was approached outside of a local grocery store. Officers also claimed that Floyd was under the influence, and that he died from suffering medical distress. The nine minute video, coupled with the the local government’s inaction led to an uprising, calling for attention in the death of the unarmed 46-year-old Black man.
In addition to the trauma of watching another Black person plead for their life, Trump used his dog-whistle to provoke by condemning the protesters, who were mainly Black, labeling them as “THUGS,” in an early Friday morning Twitter rant. He also incited violence by tweeting “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a phrase that was once used by the widly racist former Miami Police Chief, Walter Headley.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, have been repeatedly called on to intervene in Floyd’s death.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman raised even more questions after he spoke to the press and stated, “…there is other evidence that doesn’t support a criminal charge. We need to weigh through all of that evidence and come through with a meaningful determination and we are doing that to the best of our ability,” KTTC reports. His office later said the quote was taken out of context and that the commitment of his officer remains to examining all evidence prior to making an arrest.
As Friday’s events come to pass, it seems as local officials have finally been forced to act after four days of suffering, another unspeakable tragedy.
This is a developing story.