Washington, D.C. — Today, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced that the charges against former police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd will be elevated from third-degree to second-degree murder. The other three officers involved in the incident, all of whom can be seen in the video either assisting Chauvin or standing by even when it was clear that Floyd was in mortal danger, will be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
The decision comes more than a week after Floyd was killed in Minneapolis; the officers were responding to a 911 call alleging Floyd had attempted to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. Floyd’s killing has triggered widespread protests across the country and globally in response to police brutality, particularly against Black people and other people of color.
Ed Chung, vice president for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:
Minnesota Attorney General Ellison’s announcement today was a significant step toward achieving justice for George Floyd and his family. These decisive steps demonstrate that it is not only possible but imperative for those entrusted with the authority to prosecute cases to act in both an urgent and thorough manner.
As we continue our necessary national conversation about the role of police and policing in our society, Ellison’s announcement sends a strong statement that those who enforce the law must also be held accountable when they violate the law themselves.
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