George Floyd: All four police officers to face charges over death
4 June 2020, 10:36
Former cops Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane have all been charged and Derek Chauvin's charge has been increased to 2nd degree murder.
All four former police officers involved in the death of unarmed black man George Floyd are to be charged.
Floyd, 46, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis last week after officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, despite Floyd repeatedly crying out "I can’t breathe".
Chauvin, 42, has had charges against him upgraded from third-degree murder to second-degree murder, and the other three officers in connection with the killing will also be charged.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar took to Twitter to announce plans to charge Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng, writing: "Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin to 2nd degree in George Floyd’s murder and also charging other 3 officers. This is another important step for justice."
In distressing footage which sparked worldwide outcry, Lane and Kueng can be seen aiding Chauvin in restraining Floyd, while Thao watched as the incident took place.
Following Floyd's death on May 25, all four police officers were fired but were not immediately charged. According to CNN, Lane, Kueng and Thao will likely face allegations of aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
In response to the news, George Floyd's family described the moment as "bittersweet" but expressed their gratitude to Attorney General Keith Ellison in an official statement.
"This is a significant step forward on the road to justice, and we are gratified that this important action was brought before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest," reads the statement.
"These officers knew they could act with impunity, given the Minneapolis Police Department’s widespread and prolonged pattern and practice of violating people’s constitutional rights. Therefore, we also demand permanent transparent police accountability at all levels and at all times."
The family went on to address the countless protesters across the world fighting for justice and the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George's death.
"We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support by Americans in cities across the country, and we urge them to raise their voices for change in peaceful ways. Our message to them is: Find constructive and positive ways to keep the focus and pressure on. Don’t let up on your demand for change.”