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On Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison upgraded the murder charge against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd, to second-degree murder.
Ellison has also charged Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Keung – the other officers who were at the scene of Floyd’s death with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Chauvin was initially arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter last Friday by the Hennepin County Attorney’s office.
However on Monday, on the request of Floyd’s family, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz handed control of the case to Ellison who then strengthened the murder charge on Chauvin and charged the other three officers.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has spoken out in support of the upgraded charge tweeting on Wednesday afternoon, “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin to 2nd degree in George Floyd’s murder and also charging other 3 officers. This is another important step for justice.”
Benjamin Crump, the Attorney representing Floyd’s family also released a legal statement on Twitter praising Ellison’s decision.
“This is a bittersweet moment for the family of George Floyd,” said Crump. “We are deeply gratified that Attorney General Keith Ellison took decisive action in this case, arresting and charging all the officers involved in George Floyd’s death and upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second degree murder.”
This is a significant step forward on the road to justice, and we are gratified that this important action was brought before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest. This is a source of peace for George’s family in this painful time."
Crump also emphasized that Ellison would continue investigating the murder and raise the charge against Chauvin to first-degree if enough evidence supported it.
The killing of George Floyd has sparked protests in over 100 cities across the United States. Raising the charge against Chauvin and the arrest of the other three officers involved in Floyd’s death, have been two of the main demands among protesters.
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