Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison toughened the charge against 44-year-old former police officer Derek Chauvin to second-degree murder in the 46-year-old George Floyd case. He also brought charges against three other dismissed officers who were involved in the fatal incident.
Chauvin was charged last week with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Recall that he held his knee around Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, almost three minutes after the deceased African-American stopped responding to external factors. He was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance and declared dead about an hour later. The new charge could carry a prison sentence of up to 40 years without parole. That’s 15 years more than the maximum penalty for third-degree murder, Reuters reports.
Benjamin Kramp, a lawyer for the Floyd family, said the victim’s family was “deeply satisfied” that Allison toughened the charges against Chauvin and accused the other officers involved. According to Krump, Allison promised the family that he would continue investigating Floyd’s death and raise the charge to murder in the first degree if justified. In that case, Chauvin could face life imprisonment. For its part, Star Tribune, a Minnesota publication, citing sources in the prosecutor’s office and local police, reported that other officers – Thomas Lane, Jay Alexander Ching, and Tao Tao – have been charged with aiding and abetting murder.
It was previously reported that Chauvin was involved in three deaths that occurred during the detention of African Americans. The officer was the subject of 17 complaints filed by detainees during his 19-year career. The prosecutor’s statement stated that the officer “acted in a wild way, disregarding human life. Recall that earlier, George Floyd’s brother, Philonis Floyd, said on CNN: he hopes that the police officers who participated in the incident deserve the death penalty. “I will never get my brother back. They’ve had worse contact with him than with the animal. We need justice,” said Philonis Floyd. In their time, Floyd and Chauvin worked together as bouncers in a Minneapolis bar and felt dislike towards a friend.