After four days of riots, former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder in the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd while he was unarmed and handcuffed.
Derek Chauvin Arrested After Cellphone Video Went Viral
Prosecutors charged Chauvin with third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd after millions of people pleaded for justice after watching the horrifying ordeal on a viral internet video.
The video footage shows that Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, even after Floyd became unresponsive for 2 minutes and 53 seconds.
Hennepin County prosecuting Attorney Mike Freeman announced the charges Friday afternoon. Before this incident, there were at least 17 complaints filed against Chauvin for misconduct.
“We entrust our police officers to use certain amounts of force to do their job to protect us. They commit a criminal act if they use this force unreasonably,” he said.
The criminal complaint says, “(Former officer) Derek Michael Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind without regard for human life.”
If convicted, Chauvin can face up to 25 years on the third-degree murder charge and ten years on the manslaughter charge.
Since the incident and his firing, Chauvin has been held up in his home, afraid to come out. So far, there were no charges announced against the other officers involved.
There has been outrage around the country surrounding Floyd’s death. Many were calling for the arrest of Chauvin and the other officers involved right away, but it didn’t happen until riots around South Minneapolis broke out.
In the recording, officer Tou Thao can be seen providing cover for Chauvin while the other two offers were hidden by the police squad car.
Protests turned into riots, leading to the burning of a police station and a Target store. Many felt that if Chauvin wasn’t taken into custody soon, outrage over institutional racism within law enforcement and police brutality could lead to more chaos.
While most officials were pleading for patience and understanding, President Trump late last night was tweeting and calling on the National Guard to handle things in the Twin Cities if the riots continued.
Many felt that President Trump’s use of the term “thugs” to describe the rioters and looters had racial undertones. The president also said, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” which was a racist phrase used in the 60s during the Civil Rights Movement.
Those comments upset many, including presidential candidate Joe Biden who put out his statement on Floyd’s murder.
The question now is will this be a fair process and will there be justice for George Floyd?