All four of the officers involved in George Floyd’s death have now been charged and face 40 years behind bars.
Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao were all present when Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis on Monday for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Minnesota AG charged the trio with aiding and abetting second degree murder which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years.
Chauvin was originally charged with second degree murder which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years but he now faces 40 years behind bars too after being hit with an additional charge of second degree murder.
The charges come after a week of global outrage and civil unrest across America during which millions called for the officers to be brought to justice.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon: ‘I strongly believe these developments are in the interest of justice for Mr Floyd, his family, this community and this state.’
He said he did not allow public pressure to influence his decision and warned it would be ‘months’ before he and his team had build a ‘solid’ enough case to go to trial.
Chauvin is already in custody and one of the other three cops was taken into custody today. The other two are expected to be taken into custody by the end of the day.
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Another angle of the infamous video shows Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck and the three other cops right beside him in Minneapolis last Monday
The updated complaint against Derek Chauvin that was filed on Wednesday afternoon charging him with second degree murder
At his press conference, Ellison thanked the public for giving him time to bring the charges.
‘I asked for time for to review all the evidence. The investigation is ongoing at this time. I know it’s asking a lot of people to give us time and yet we did get that time.
Floyd, 46, died last Monday after begging for his life for nearly nine minutes while Chauvin knelt on his neck and the other cops watched
‘Together, a very strong experienced team, we reviewed the evidence and we have something to announce today.
‘Thank you for the patience of the people they’ve shown me in pursuit of justice,’ he said.
He added that the case was under investigation and asked for anyone with evidence to come forward with it.
‘We are investigating as quickly as we can and as thoroughly as we can. Every single link in the prosecutorial chain must be strong.
‘Trying this case will not be an easy thing.
‘I say this not because we doubt our resources or our ability but history does show there are clear challenges here and we are going to be working very hard to support that endeavor.
‘To the Floyd family, I say: George Floyd mattered. His life had value and we will seek justice for him and for you and we will find it.
‘The very fact that we have filed these charges means that we believe in it.’
He warned the investigation would take ‘months’ and said he wanted to build a ‘solid case’ and not rush a trial.
‘It will take a while and I can’t set a deadline on that, he said.
The Floyd family called the charges a ‘bittersweet moment’. They wanted Chauvin to be hit with first degree murder charges.
All four cops were fired when the video surfaced last week but the three others were not charged initially, to the dismay of Floyd and protesters around the world who say they are just as complicit because they did nothing to prevent Floyd’s death.
The case was taken out of the hands of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and handed over to Minnesota AG Keith Ellison earlier this week after a groundswell of outrage over how the case had been handled to date.
Quincy Mason Floyd, George Floyd’s son, (center) kneels at the spot where he died last Monday
Quincy kneeling at the site where his father died on Wednesday afternoon
George Floyd’s adult son Quincy Mason Floyd (pictured center) visited the site where his father died in Minneapolis last Monday
The site where Floyd was killed has now become a tribute to him. His brother Terrence is shown crying he visits on Monday
Protesters descended on the White House again on Wednesday as peaceful demonstrations continued around the world
On Tuesday night NYPD officers blocked 5,000 Brooklyn protesters from entering Manhattan during the second night of the city’s curfew
Ellison’s office vowed to carry out a full overhaul of the investigation, including whether or not Chauvin’s charges should be upgraded from third degree murder to first degree murder.
The new development came as Floyd’s adult son – Quincy Mason Floyd – visited the site where his father died. Crump also told reporters that he’d been informed a decision on the case had been reached.
Both Chauvin and Thao had been complained about for their use of force in the past.
Tou Thao, was part of a $25,000 out of court settlement after being sued for using excessive force in 2017.
A lawsuit obtained by the DailyMail.com shows Thao was sued for using excessive force in arrest where he was accused of punching and kicking a handcuffed suspect ‘until his teeth broke’.
In 2006 Derek Chauvin, 44, was one of six officers connected to the death of Wayne Reyes.
Reyes, 42 was killed by officers after allegedly pulling a shotgun on the six cops, which included Chauvin.
Two years later Chauvin was investigated for his role in the 2008 shooting of Ira Latrell Toles during a domestic assault call.
Toles was wounded after police said he went for an officer’s gun and Chauvin shot him.
And in 2011 23-year-old Leroy Martinez was shot and injured during a chase given by officers including Chauvin. Lane and Keung are reportedly rookies.
The announcement on Wednesday comes after more than a week of civil unrest across the United States which has seen thousands of peaceful protests, a social media blackout in the name of racial justice, and out-of-control looting and violence.
The unrest began last week in Minneapolis – where Floyd was killed – but it quickly spread across the nation and sparked conversations of police brutality and racial inequality around the world.
Floyd was accused of using a forged $20 bill to pay for something when the police were called on him.
The 46-year-old father begged for his life as Chauvin knelt on his neck without flinching.
The three other cops held Chauvin restrain him despite him pleading for breath and saying his chest and neck hurt.
A video of the incident that was filmed by disgusted bystanders went viral and sparked the investigation into the police officers.
Initially, they were only fired. Chauvin was then charged but unsatisfied critics demanded the others be brought to justice.
President Trump has been widely criticized for his response to the national row which has to been to order governors to take a tougher stance in their handling of the crisis.
He has been urging Governors to utilize the military and take as tough a stance as possible.
Earlier this week, he hid in a bunker in the White House as protesters threw objects at Secret Service agents.
He then had protesters cleared with tear gas to walk over to a church in Washington DC for a photo-opp.
‘Daddy changed the world’: George Floyd’s six-year-old daughter Gianna says she misses playing with him as her mother reveals she does not yet know he was killed by cops but that he died ‘because he couldn’t breathe’
George Floyd’s six-year-old daughter Gianna has been told her ‘daddy changed the world’ but still does not know he was killed by cops.
The six-year-old and her mother Roxie Washington appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday morning where Gianna, bright-eyed and smiling, said she misses playing with her father.
She said she wants to grow up to become a doctor and wants to ‘take care of people.’
‘I miss him… he played with me,’ Gianna said.
Roxie, who took part in a press conference with her daughter on Tuesday night, said George ‘loved’ his daughter, one of his two children.
She also said she has only seen some parts of the infamous video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, and that she wishes she’d been there to help him.
Gianna Floyd, on her uncle’s shoulders, on Tuesday in Minneapolis, saying: ‘Daddy changed the world’
‘I couldn’t believe somebody was doing him like that I wish somebody would have been there to help him,’ she said.
Roxie also revealed Gianna does not know the full story behind her father’s death.
‘I told her her dad died because he couldn’t breathe,’ she said.
In another video which emerged on social media on Tuesday, Gianna is seen on her uncle’s shoulders watching peaceful protests in Minneapolis and saying: ‘Daddy changed the world!’
The family turned out to join peaceful protests in Minneapolis on Tuesday as others took place around the country in Floyd’s name.
They urged people to protest peacefully against police brutality and rebuked violent looters and rioters giving the cause a bad name.
Unrest has unfolded across America since Floyd’s death last Monday.
There are mounting calls for the three other officers who witnessed his death but did nothing to prevent it to face murder charges.
Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter.
At a press conference on Tuesday night, Roxie said: ‘I don’t have a lot to say, I can’t get the words together right now.
‘I want everyone to know that this is what those officers took from me,’ she said, referencing the small girl standing next to her.
‘At the end of the day, they get to go home and be with their families. Gianna does not have a father.
Floyd and Gianna when she was a baby. Roxie says he was a good father to her and his other child