Updated: June 03, 2020 08:04 PM
Created: June 03, 2020 01:07 PM
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has added a second-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin and has charged the other three former officers involved in the fatal arrest of George Floyd.
A new criminal complaint against Chauvin was issued Wednesday.
According to court records, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng are each facing charges of unintentional aiding and abetting second-degree murder as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Thao, Kueng and Lane were all taken into custody Wednesday and are being held at the Hennepin County Jail.
"I want to begin with a reminder and that is that we're here today because George Floyd is not here. He should be here. He should be alive but he's not," Ellison said while announcing the additional charges. "About nine days ago the world watched Floyd utter his very last words, 'I can't breathe.'"
During a press conference, Ellison said he is confident in the prosecution but recognizes there are challenges when prosecuting police officers.
"The very fact that we have filed these charges means we believe in them. What I do not believe is that one successful prosecution can rectify the hurt and loss so many people feel," Ellison said. "The solution to that pain will be slow and difficult work of constructing justice and fairness in our society. That work is the work of all of us."
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Floyd's family, also issued a statement following the news:
"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," Crump said. "This is a source of peace for George's family in this painful time."
Gov. Tim Walz also issued a statement following the announcement of the charges.
"The charges announced by Attorney General Keith Ellison today are a meaningful step toward justice for George Floyd. But we must also recognize that the anguish driving protests around the world is about more than one tragic incident," Walz said. "George Floyd's death is the symptom of a disease. We will not wake up one day and have the disease of systemic racism cured for us. This is on each of us to solve together, and we have hard work ahead."
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