- Derek Chauvin, the officer who pinned him down, is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter.
- No cameras are to be allowed in court on judge's orders.
- Lane and Kueng were released on conditional bail of $750,000, whereas Tuo Thao remains in custody.
The four ex-Minneapolis police officers charged with the murder of George Floyd are set to appear in Hennepin County District Court. Floyd, an African American man, was killed a month ago after a white office pinned him down for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The hearing could deal with bail amounts and other issues.
Derek Chauvin, the officer who pinned him down, is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter. The other three officers, Thomas Lane, Alexander Kueng, and Tuo Thao, are accused of aiding and abetting second degree murder and manslaughter. No cameras are to be allowed in court, since a judge denied a request from the accused to allow cameras during the hearings.
Lane and Kueng were released on conditional bail of $750,000, whereas Tuo Thao remains in custody. Derek Chauvin is being held at Minnesota’s maximum security prison in Oak Park Heights on a $1 million bail. The four officers were fired after a video of Floyd’s death at their hands went viral. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo had said Chauvin knew what he was doing, and the other officers failed to prevent the killing
Floyd, an African American man died on May 25 after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty six seconds. Floyd was buried earlier this month in Houston, amid calls for racial justice from speakers.
In a horrifying video, Chauvin pinned Floyd down with his knee as he lay on the ground during an arrest. The video footage was taken by a witness and was sent on social media. It showed Floyd helpless, asking the police not to kill him. Floyd said several times, “I can’t breathe!”
The officer is then heard telling him to relax he continues to pin him down. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts,” Floyd cries out. “[I need] water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. . . I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.” In the footage witnesses are heard pleading with the police to let go the man but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
The death of Floyd has sparked outrage from all quarters, and ignited anger over police killings of black Americans. Widespread anti-racism protests were witnessed in all US states and around the world. The protests were violent in the beginning, but later on turned peaceful.
A number of police officers have used a lot of force during the widespread protests against the murder of Floyd. Some of these officers have been fired, while others have been charged. The demonstrators were calling for justice for Floyd, as well as police reforms where they advocated for disbandment and dismantling of the police force.
Floyd’s death also caused the Democrats and Republicans to clash on police reforms, with the latter not agreeing with the calls. A few days ago, the House of Representatives passed far-reaching legislation on police reforms, a month after Floyd’s death.
The legislation is aimed at lifting legal obstacles that protect police officers from lawsuits, banning no-knock raids used by police, and halting the flow of military surplus equipment to police departments. It is named after Floyd.
The legislation took into consideration the demands of protesters across the country, who have called for police reforms following the deaths of black people at the hands of police officers. The bill will have a hard time passing through the next stage— the Republican-controlled Senate— unless the Democrats and Republicans set aside their differences.
The legislation is backed by the civil rights activists, but opposed by police unions and President Donald Trump. The president said that the Democrats are working towards weakening the police force.