A Minneapolis judge has dismissed the third-degree murder charge against ex-police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing African-American man, George Floyd. Second-degree murder and manslaughter charges were upheld.
Hennepin County judge, Peter A. Cahill, stayed the dismissal of Chauvin’s third-degree murder charge for five days so that the state could appeal his ruling.
He also denied motions to dismiss the aiding and abetting charges against the three other officers, who were on the scene during Floyd’s death – Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane.
Chauvin was arrested in late May, several days after his attempt to detain George Floyd outside a grocery store in Minneapolis resulted in the man’s death. Videos of the incident showed the officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.
The footage provoked month of ‘Black Lives matter’ protests in Minneapolis and elsewhere across the country, some of which erupted in violence and escalated into riots.
Chauvin, who was swiftly sacked from the police, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, which was later upgraded to second-degree murder. He had been held in solitary and under maximum security at the Oak Park Heights prison before being released on $1 million bond earlier this month.
The judge sustaining “the most serious charges” against the four defendants was “an important, positive step forward in the path toward justice for George Floyd, his family, our community, and Minnesota,” Attorney General Keith Ellison said in response to Thursday’s ruling.
“We look forward to presenting the prosecution’s case to a jury in Hennepin County,” Ellison added. The trails in the case of Floyd’s death are scheduled to resume in March.
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