MINNEAPOLIS – Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer seen kneeling on George Floyd’s neck until he could not breathe, has been arrested, Fox News reported.
Chauvin’s arrest follows three days of protests and rioting across Minneapolis that led to looting, violence and a police precinct being torched.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the now former officer has been charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter, CBS Minnesota reported.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday promised swift justice in Floyd’s death, but also pleaded with protestors who have set fire to Minneapolis to stop, so the city could restore justice and order.
“I won’t patronize you as a white man about living those experiences… but I am asking you to help us,” Walz said. “Help us use humane ways to get the streets to a place where we can restore the justice so that those who are expressing rage and anger and demanding justice are heard, not those who throw fire bombs into businesses.”
On Friday, John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, announced that Chauvin was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, who said that Chauvin was taken into custody in Minneapolis, according to CBS.
“We have now been able to put together the evidence that we need. Even as late as yesterday afternoon, we did not have all that we needed,” Freeman said, before saying that he was unable to speak to specific pieces of evidence and which one specifically was needed to file charges.
“This is by far the fastest that we’ve ever charged a police officer,” Freeman said.
Freeman says the other officers involved are under investigation and he “anticipates charges.”
“But I’m not going to get into that,” he said. “Today, we’re talking about former officer Chauvin.”
Attorney General William Barr issued a statement Friday afternoon, saying:
The video images of the incident that ended with death of Mr. Floyd, while in custody of Minneapolis police officers, were harrowing to watch and deeply disturbing. The state prosecutor has been in the process of determining whether any criminal charges are appropriate under state law. On a separate and parallel track, the Department of Justice, including the FBI, are conducting an independent investigation to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated. Both state and federal officers are working diligently and collaboratively to ensure that any available evidence relevant to these decisions is obtained as quickly as possible. Under our system, charging decisions must be, and will be, based on the law and facts. This process is proceeding quickly. As is the typical practice, the state’s charging decisions will be made first. I am confident justice will be served.
On Monday at 8 p.m., Minneapolis police said officers were called to the intersection of Chicago Avenue and East 38th Street on a report of someone trying to use a forged document at Cup Foods.
During Floyd’s arrest, a bystander’s video showed him saying he could not breathe as Chauvin knelt on his neck and kept his knee there for several minutes.
The other officers involved were identified as Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng, each with the department fewer than three years. All four officers were fired a day after Floyd’s death.