George Floyd Updates: Minneapolis Is Under Curfew as Protests Continue Nationwide

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Fired officer is charged with third-degree murder after George Floyd’s death.

The former police officer who was seen on video using his knee to pin down George Floyd, a black man who later died, has been arrested and charged with murder, the authorities announced on Friday, after days of growing unrest in Minneapolis escalated with the burning of a police station and protests that drew attention from the White House.

The former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, who is white, was arrested by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Friday, the authorities said. Mr. Chauvin, 44, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Mike Freeman, the Hennepin County attorney, announced on Friday afternoon.

Mr. Floyd’s relatives said in a statement that they were disappointed by the decision not to seek first-degree murder charges.

Third-degree murder does not require an intent to kill, according to the Minnesota statute, only that the perpetrator caused someone’s death in a dangerous act “without regard for human life.” Charges of first- and second-degree murder require prosecutors to prove, in almost all cases, that the perpetrator made a decision to kill the victim.

Mr. Chauvin was also charged with second-degree manslaughter, a charge that requires prosecutors to prove he was so negligent as to create an “unreasonable risk,” and consciously took the chance that his actions would cause Mr. Floyd to be severely harmed or die.

An investigation into the other three officers who were present at the scene on Monday was ongoing, Mr. Freeman said.

The developments came after a night of chaos in which protesters set fire to a police station in Minneapolis, the National Guard was deployed to help restore order, and President Trump injected himself into the mix with tweets that appeared to threaten violence against protesters.

The tensions in Minneapolis reflected a growing frustration around the country, as demonstrators took to the streets to protest the death of Mr. Floyd and other recent killings of black men and women.

Mr. Floyd, 46, died on Monday after pleading “I can’t breathe” while Mr. Chauvin pressed his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck, in an encounter that was captured on video.

Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota, a Democrat, expressed solidarity with the protesters during a news conference on Friday, but said that a return to order was needed to lift up the voices of “those who are expressing rage and anger and those who are demanding justice” and “not those who throw firebombs.”

President Trump, who previously called the video of Mr. Floyd’s death “shocking,” drew criticism for a tweet early Friday that called the protesters “thugs” and said that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The comments prompted Twitter to attach a warning to the tweet, saying that it violated the company’s rules about “glorifying violence.”




2020-05-29 23:14:46

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