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Officer Filmed With Knee On George Floyd's Neck Is Arrested, Charged with Murder

The fired Minneapolis police officer seen on video with his knee on the neck of an unarmed black man who later died has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced at a Friday press conference.

The cases of three other police officers present at the time of George Floyd's May 25 death are still under investigation, Freeman said. But he added, "I anticipate charges" against the three officers.

Freeman said Chauvin's case represents the fastest time-span "by far" in which a murder charge has been brought against a Minneapolis police officer, saying such charges usually take nine months or more.

"We have to charge these cases very carefully because we have a difficult burden of proof," Freeman said.
The third-degree murder charge carries a maximum of 25 years in prison, according to Minnesota's criminal code. Freeman said the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin is the same as the one brought against Mohammed Noor, the police officer who killed unarmed woman Justine Damond in 2017 while responding to her 911 call. Noor was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison in 2019.

Freeman said more charges against Chauvin are possible, and that a criminal complaint against him will be finalized later on Friday.

When asked if public pressure, including protests in Minneapolis and beyond that have turned violent, had anything to do with the charges, Freeman said, "I am not insensitive to what's happened in the streets...[but] my job is to do it only when we have sufficient evidence."
CBS Minnesota reports that Chauvin, who was fired Tuesday along with the three other officers present, had been with Minneapolis police for 19 years.

The encounter between Chauvin and Floyd, 46, was caught on camera, with viral footage sparking widespread outrage on social media. In the video, Chauvin is seen placing his knee firmly on the back of Floyd's neck as he lies face down on his stomach, next to a patrol car.

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