The arresting officer who pinned George Floyd to the ground by his neck has been taken into custody by state authorities, according to Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington (via political reporter Theo Keith). On Friday afternoon, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that former officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
“We have now been able to put together the evidence that we need. Even as late as yesterday afternoon, we did not have all that we needed,” Freeman said. “This is by far the fastest that we’ve ever charged a police officer.” Chauvin’s lawyer, Tom Kelly, was not immediately available for comment.
In a release, a rep for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reported that Chauvin was arrested at 11:44 a.m. local time “on probable cause related to the May 25th death of George Floyd. Agents took Mr. Chauvin into custody in Minneapolis.” An investigation into the other three officers who were on the scene continues.
Floyd, 46, died Monday after Chauvin and three other officers responded to a call at a Minneapolis convenience store that the man was attempting to spend a fraudulent $20 bill. A bystander took a video of the arrest, which depicted Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he pleaded with the officer, telling him that he couldn’t breathe. Floyd died after being taken to the hospital.
Chauvin and his fellow officers were fired Tuesday as the FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began investigating the incident and protests started to mount that evening. It also came to light Thursday that Chauvin previously had 12 police-conduct complaints filed against him; all are currently closed.
Protests have raged across Minneapolis over the last few days and citizens called for the arrest of the officer.
This is a developing story…