Thursday, June 4, 2020 12:01 am
The authorities of the state of Minnesota, United States of America, on Wednesday said all the four police officers involved in snuffing life out of a blackman, George Floyd, will not now be prosecuted.
Minnesota’s Attorney General , Keith Ellison said at a press conference that there is now evidence to slam a stronger charge against Derek Chauvin, the main architect of the black’s man death who had previously been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Chauvin was the police officer seen in viral video kneeling on the neck of Floyd. Ellison said the kneeling on the neck of Flyod lasted more than eight minutes.
The video, recorded by bystanders and shared over the social media has triggered outrage and protests across the United States and other parts of the world as example of injustice against blacks and other minority groups in the hands of white police officers, especially in the United States. The charge against Chauvin has now been elevated to second-degree murder.
The other three policemen who watched as Chauvin knelled on the neck of Floyd who was crying that he cannot breathe, but failed to caution their colleague are Thomas Lane, J.A. Keung and Tou Thao.
Thou has been charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder in the commission of a felony, while the other officers face similar charges of aiding and abetting.
The bail for all four officers was set at $1 million.
“Trying this case will not be an easy thing,” Ellison said. “Winning a conviction will be hard.”
“We are following the path of all the evidence, wherever it leads,” Ellison said.
“We are investigating as quickly as we can because speed is important. We’re also investigating as thoroughly as we can because being complete and thorough is critically important.
“But it takes time. The reason thoroughness is important is because every single link in the prosecutorial chain must be strong. It needs to be strong because trying this case will not be an easy thing. Winning a conviction will be hard,” the Attorney General said.
All the four officers were sacked a day after the service.
According to charges filed Wednesday, Thao stood by as Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe. Court papers and had “looked directly at how Chauvin was restraining Mr. Floyd, with Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck area,” according to the court records.
“When one citizen stepped off the curb. imploring Chauvin to get off Mr. Floyd, (Thao) put his hands on the citizen to keep him back.”
Despite Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe and was about to die, Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Two minutes and 53 seconds of that time was after Floyd was unresponsive, the court records said.
“Police officers are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous,” the charging papers concluded. “Officer Chauvin’s restraint of Mr. Floyd in this manner for a prolonged period was a substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death.
An official autopsy found that Floyd had arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, and toxicology testing revealed the presence of fentanyl and evidence of recent methamphetamine use, court records show.
A medical examiner “opined that the effects of the officers’ restraint of Mr. Floyd, his underlying health conditions, and the presence of the drugs contributed to his death.”