The George Floyd murder occurred when Derek Chauvin, a white policeman suffocated him with a knee on his neck for approximately nine minutes. Despite protests by Floyd that he couldn’t breathe, Chauvin refused to take his leg off George’s neck. The video of the incident has caused widespread riots to start across the United States.
The Attorney General of Minnesota, Keith Ellison has increased Chauvin’s charges to also include second-degree murder. The charge of second degree murder has a maximum punishment of 40 years. His other charge, third degree murder, carries a maximum punishment of 15 years.
In addition, the three ex-officers identified as being part of the incident have been charged for “aiding and abetting” in the murder. Authorities said that at least one of them had already been arrested on Tuesday.
Floyd’s family’s lawyer released the following statement on Twitter: “FAMILY’S REACTION: This is a bittersweet moment. We are deeply gratified that @AGEllison took decisive action, arresting & charging ALL the officers involved in #GeorgeFloyd’s death & upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder. #JusticeForGeorge”
He went on to add that the Minneapolis Police Department believed that they could get away with doing anything. This is supposedly due to their “widespread and prolonged pattern and practice” of violating people’s rights.