Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announces upgraded charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and charges against three other former police officers involved in the death of George Floyd in police custody, in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S. June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Miller

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

On June 3, three former Minneapolis officers, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng, were charged with “aiding and abetting murder in connection with the death of George Floyd.” Derek Chauvin, the fourth former officer, will now be also be charged with second-degree murder. The charges were announced by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison at a press conference in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ellison added that the case “is going to take months” to make sure the facts have been “fully investigated, researched, before we go to trial.” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) asked Ellison to lead the prosecution. On June 1, the Hennepin County Medical examiner released an autopsy report that named Floyd’s cause of death as “Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”

American civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Floyd family, stated in an interview with CNN that he and the family “believe that it should be first degree murder” and added that “the investigation is ongoing and if there is evidence to support a first-degree murder conviction, [the attorney general] would charge it.” Amid the increase in charges, Lt. Bob Kroll, head of the Minneapolis Police Union, has alleged that Chauvin and the other three officers were “fired without due process,” prompting members of other state unions to call for Kroll’s resignation.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

All four former police officers have now been charged in George Floyd’s death – Salon – 6/3/2020
The Floyd family and their attorney have asked Ellison to upgrade charges to first-degree murder. The charge, which carries a life sentence in Minnesota, requires evidence that the crime was planned. […] “Find constructive and positive ways to keep the focus and pressure on,” they added. “Don’t let up on your demand for change.”

Why It’s Still So Rare For Police Officers To Face Legal Consequences For Misconduct – FiveThirtyEight – 6/4/2020
The fact that Chauvin was charged at all was significant. The elevation of the charges — and the fact that the other three officers are also being charged — is even more so. That’s because it’s still quite rare for police officers to be prosecuted.

Minn. AG Keith Ellison: ‘We will charge anything that the facts and the law allow’ – The Washington Times – 6/4/2020
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Thursday left open the possibility that former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin could ultimately be charged with first-degree murder in the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota last week. “We will charge anything that the facts and the law allow,” Mr. Ellison said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “We are not showing fear or favor to any person.”

LA Officials Push To Cut Police Budget By Up To $150M After Riots – The Daily Wire – 6/4/2020
The protests-turned-riots over Floyd’s death, which began last week in Minneapolis, have spread to many of the largest cities in the United States such as San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City. Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, is now facing murder and manslaughter charges after holding his knee on Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes while Floyd remained handcuffed on the ground.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

CHIKA on Twitter, 6/4/2020: Do not advocate for first degree murder in George Floyd’s case. In order to convict, you’d have to prove premeditation & since it happened in the moment, Chauvin would be found not guilty. Second degree means it was intentional, but not planned. THAT is proven.

Justin Miller on Twitter, 6/4/2020: Huge discrepancies in the DA’s complaint against Derek Chauvin, accused of murdering George Floyd, and Attorney General Keith Ellison’s complaint against Chauvin. The DA was much more favorable to Chauvin and police.

Stacy Washington on Twitter, 6/4/2020: Is Ellison over charging? Will the charges stick? Murder charge increased against ex-Minneapolis officer; 3 others charged in George Floyd’s death

Erin Sharoni on Twitter, 6/4/2020: @AlexJamesFitz I suspect the way out (initially), is for the appropriate indictments to be handed down, as we began to see yesterday with Chauvin and his accomplices. Then, swift action must be taken against police who brutalized peaceful protestors. More examples made = softened outrage.

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