The three other ex-Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s death have been charged with aiding and abetting a murder in the second degree. Additionally, ex-officer Derek Chauvin’s charge has been upgraded to second-degree murder. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced the new charges against Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng during a press conference on Wednesday (June 3).
All four officers were seen restraining Floyd in the horrifying video of his fatal arrest, while Chauvin kneeled down on his neck for over eight minutes, despite his please for air. While Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday (May 29) — four days after Floyd’s death — protestors have been demanding the arrest of the Thao, Lane and Kueng in nationwide rallies for over a week.
Floyd’s family was reportedly aware that the three other officers would be charged today (June 3), according to their attorney Benjamin Crump.
“We heard that they expect to charge those officers,” Crump said during an appearance on “TODAY” Tuesday morning (June 2).
The new charges arrive two days after an independent autopsy found asphyxiation to be the cause of Floyd’s death. The results conflicted with a preliminary autopsy by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, which claimed that Floyd’s underlying health issues had contributed to his death.
While the preliminary autopsy “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” the independent autopsy conducted by Dr. Allecia Wilson and Dr. Michael Baden found that “neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain” caused Floyd’s asphyxia. Both autopsies ruled his death as a homicide.
JAY-Z previously called on Attorney General Ellison “to do the right thing” in a statement he released after speaking with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.
“After our very earnest conversation, thank you to Governor Walz for doing what’s right and calling in Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over the George Floyd case,” Hov wrote. “Now I, along with an entire country in pain, call upon AG Ellison to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent of the law.”