Ex-Officers Charged in George Floyd's Death, DOJ Continues Criminal Probe of Civil Rights Violations as 'Top Priority'
Do you support the DOJ’s criminal probe into the death of George Floyd?
by Countable | 6.3.20
UPDATE - 6/3/20: All four former officers involved in George Floyd's killing now face charges. Three former Minneapolis police officers have been charged with aiding and abetting a murder in connection with the death of George Floyd, while
“We are here today because George Floyd is not here,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Wednesday. “George Floyd mattered. He was loved. His family was important. His life had value. And we will seek justice for him and for you."
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin - who is seen in photos kneeling on Floyd's neck as he shouts, "I can't breathe" - had already been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He will now also face a second-degree murder charge, which involves intentionally inflicting bodily harm without a premeditated aim to commit murder.
UPDATE - 5/29/20: Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday afternoon that former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has been taken into custody and charged with third-degree murder & second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. He added that charges may be forthcoming for the other three former officers involved in Floyd's deaths.
The federal Dept. of Justice investigation that's focused on potential civil rights violations in the incident is ongoing and may result in additional charges being filed. Any federal civil rights prosecution would likely occur after local charges are tried.
Countable's original article appears below.
What’s the story?
- The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) & Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have announced a “robust criminal investigation” into the death of George Floyd, a 46 year old black man who died in police custody while a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. There has been nationwide outrage over Floyd's death after disturbing video of his final moments was released.
- The news comes after two days of protests over Floyd’s death and the firing of the four Minneapolis police officers on the scene. On Wednesday night, some of the protests in Minneapolis devolved into rioting & looting. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) told citizens “we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy” and urged them to help keep the peace, while asking Gov. Tim Walz (D) to deploy the National Guard.
- The DOJ & FBI have made the criminal probe a “top priority” according to a statement released Thursday. U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald & FBI Special Agent In Charge Rainer Drolshagen have been assigned to lead the investigation and explained the path forward in the release:
“The Department of Justice and FBI’s comprehensive investigation will compile all available information and thoroughly evaluate any information obtained from witnesses. Upon conclusion of the FBI’s investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will determine whether federal criminal charges are supported by the evidence. If it is determined there has been a violation of federal law, criminal charges will be sought.”
- President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted that he had directed the DOJ to launch the investigation:
....I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
— Eric Revell (with contributions from Josh Herman)
(Photo Credit: Dept. of Justice / Public Domain)
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