Minneapolis Officer Who Knelt On George Floyd’s Neck Charged With Murder, Manslaughter

WCBS 880 Newsroom
May 29, 2020 - 1:46 pm
George Floyd protest

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WCBS 880) — The officer who was seen on video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck prior to his death has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Minneapolis Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington announced Friday that state investigators had arrested Derek Chauvin. 

Chauvin, a white officer, was recorded by a bystander kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he was being handcuffed. 

More charges may be brought against Chauvin, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Friday.

Three other officers who were fired after Floyd’s death could also face charges.

Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr said the Department of Justice is conducting an independent investigation to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated.

"The video images of the incident that ended with death of Mr. Floyd, while in custody of Minneapolis police officers, were harrowing to watch and deeply disturbing," Barr said in a statement. 

The arrest comes after days of violent protests and demonstrators torched a police precinct that was abandoned by officers.

The demonstrations had spread all over the country, including New York City – where multiple people were arrested and several NYPD officers were injured

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday acknowledged the “abject failure” of the response to this week's violent protests. 

Walz said the state would take over the response and that it's time to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering. He also promised justice would be swift for all the officers accused in Floyd's death.

CBS News reports Floyd's family has hired former New York City chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden to conduct an independent autopsy.

Baden told CBS News he expects to an perform the autopsy next week.

Baden is a prominent forensic pathologist who has testified at several high profile trials including the murder trial of O.J. Simpson. He has also conducted private autopsies in major cases such as on convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American man fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.

(© 2020 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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