UNITED STATES—All four police officers involved in the death of George Floyd, 46, are now in police custody and facing charges.
During a press conference on Wednesday, May 3, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced that the Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of George Floyd are facing charges for second-degree unintentional murder, as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
“Today arrest warrants were issued for former Minneapolis police officers J. A. Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao. Finally, I’d like to announce that today Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and I have filed a complaint that charges police officers King, Lane and Tao with aiding and abetting murder in the second degree, a felony offense,” stated Ellison during the press conference.
In addition, Derek Chauvin, 44, the officer who held his knee on George Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder in addition to his charges for third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“Today, I filed an amended complaint that charges former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with murder in the second degree for the death of George Floyd. I believe evidence available to us now supports the strong charge of second-degree murder. We’ve consulted with each other and we agree,” Ellison further stated.
According to Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, a second degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years if convicted. A third-degree murder charge would carry a maximum of 25 years. Actual sentences are often short of the maximum, and Minnesota state prosecutors have estimated that Chauvin will likely serve 10-15 years in prison.
Ellison added that he did not allow public pressure or the recent protests to influence his decision-making: “We made these decisions based on the facts that we have gathered.”
“I strongly believe that these developments are in the interest of justice for Mr. Floyd, his family, our community and our state,” Ellison added he announced the charges.
Floyd’s memorial is scheduled for Thursday, June 4 in Minneapolis, and he will be buried in his hometown of Houston, Texas next week.