It took more than a week of nationwide protests and riots but all four cops have now been charged in the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old man who was killed after a Minneapolis police officer planted his knee on his neck for almost nine minutes, long after he had stopped moving or talking.
The three remaining cops, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao have been charged with third-degree murder. And the third-degree murder charge that Derek Chauvin was facing has been upgraded to a second-degree murder charge, which means he is now facing a minimum of 25-and-a-half years where before he was facing 12-and-a-half years.
First-degree murder requires proof that the murder was premeditate which might difficult to prove in this case.
According to CBS Minnesota:
Officers were dispatched to Cup Foods on the report of a man buying merchandise with a counterfeit $20 bill. Shortly after 8 p.m., Officers Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng arrived with their body cameras activate and recording. The officers learned from store workers that the man, later identified as Floyd, was parked in a car around the corner.
Body camera footage shows the officers approaching the car with Lane on the driver’s side and Kueng on the passenger side. Three people were in the car: Floyd, another man and another woman.
As Lane began speaking with Floyd, he pulled out his gun, pointed it at Floyd and ordered him to show his hands. Floyd then put his hands on the steering wheel and Lane holstered his firearm. Lane then ordered Floyd out of the car and handcuffed him, but Floyd “actively resisted being handcuffed,” the complaint states. Once handcuffed, however, police said Floyd did not resist and walked with Lane to the sidewalk. Floyd then sat on the ground at Lane’s direction. The complaint says Lane spoke with Floyd for under two minutes, asking Floyd for his identification and name. He also asked Floyd if he was “on anything” and told Floyd he was going to be arrested for passing counterfeit currency. Then, Lane and Keung stood Floyd up and attempted to take him to their squad car. Floyd then “stiffened up, fell to the ground and told the officers he was claustrophobic,” the complaint states.
That’s when Officers Chauvin and Tou Thao arrived on the scene in a separate squad car. After making several attempts to get Floyd in the backseat from the driver’s side, the complaint says Floyd wouldn’t get in and would struggle with the officers by intentionally falling down. The complaint says that Floyd began saying and repeating he could not breathe while standing outside the car. Chauvin then went to the passenger side and tried to get Floyd in from that side, with Lane and Keung assisting.
Chauvin then pulled Floyd out of the passenger side of the car at 8:19 p.m. and Floyd went to the ground face down while still handcuffed.
While Keung and Lane held Floyd’s back and legs, Chauvin “placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck.” Floyd could be heard repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe”, as well as “mama” and “please.” The officers, however, stayed in their positions. The officers told Floyd, “You are talking fine”, as he continued to struggle. At one point, Lane asked “should we roll him on his side?” To which Chauvin responded, “No, staying put where we got him,” the complaint states.
It does not appear as if the three remaining cops have been taking into custody. Chauvin was taken into custody last week where he remains.
The CBS Minnesota story mentions body cam videos but it does not appear as if those have been made public. We will update this story with any new developments.
UPDATE: The three remaining cops were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, not third-degree murder as was initially reported. They were booked into the Hennepin County jail later in the evening.