MINNEAPOLIS — Prosecutors want to charge all four police officers at the scene of George Floyd’s death with third-degree murder, according to a report Friday.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a motion Thursday, citing a legal precedent that would allow him to charge officers Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng with the crime — potentially adding decades to the amount of prison time they face, according to NBC.
Thao, Lane and Kueng are accused of failing to stop Chauvin from allegedly “killing Floyd,” despite lethal doses of fentanyl in Floyd’s system.
Thao, Lane and Kueng are currently charged with aiding and abetting murder along with aiding and abetting manslaughter. Chauvin is faces second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.
The addition of a third-degree murder charge could add up to 25 years to a potential jail sentence for all four men, New York Post reported.
In the motion filed Thursday, Ellison argued that the state’s Court of Appeals recently upheld a third-degree murder charge against former officer Mohamed Noor over the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
That case included, “situations in which the defendant’s actions … were not specifically directed at that particular person whose death occurred,” he wrote.
However, this argument seems flawed since Noor actually shot Damond. Legal skeptics wonder if this tactic is an effort to get a plea agreement from the lesser involved officers while prosecutors go after Chauvin.