Minneapolis Police Officer Charged With Murder in Death of George Floyd
UPDATE: Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter after enough evidence proves to charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The police officer seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe, was arrested Friday after three days of often-violent protests that resulted in fires and looting across parts of Minneapolis.
Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said state investigators arrested Derek Chauvin, who was one of four officers fired this week.
News of the arrest came moments after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged the “abject failure” of the response to this week’s protests and called for swift justice for officers involved. Walz said the state would take over the response to the protests and that it’s time to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering.
Trump threatened to bring Minneapolis “under control,” calling the protesters “thugs” and tweeting that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The tweet drew another warning from Twitter, which said the comment violated the platform’s rules, but the company did not remove it.
Trump also blasted the “total lack of leadership” in Minneapolis.
A visibly tired and frustrated Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey made his first public appearance of the night early Friday at City Hall and took responsibility for evacuating the precinct, saying it had become too dangerous for officers. As Frey continued, a reporter cut across loudly with a question: “What’s the plan here?”
“With regard to?” Frey responded. Then he added: “There is a lot of pain and anger right now in our city. I understand that … What we have seen over the past several hours and past couple of nights here in terms of looting is unacceptable.”
He defended the city’s lack of engagement with looters — only a handful of arrests across the first two nights of violence — and said, “We are doing absolutely everything that we can to keep the peace.” He said National Guard members were stationed in locations to help stem looting, including at banks, grocery stores and pharmacies.