Fired Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin arrested for George Floyd's murder
A police officer filmed kneeling on an unarmed black man’s neck shortly before his death has been taken into custody on suspicion of murder.
Former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday, WCCO reported. Chauvin was nabbed by Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension three days after he and three of his colleagues were fired from Minneapolis PD.
Confirming the news on Twitter, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote: ‘Police officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested and is in custody for the murder of George Floyd. The first step towards justice.’ Criminal charges have yet to be filed against Chauvin, and a mugshot has not yet appeared on the Hennepin County Jail website, suggesting he is still being booked for the alleged murder.
Chauvin was filmed kneeling on 46 year-old Floyd’s neck outside a grocery store on Monday after Floyd allegedly tried to pay for food with a counterfeit $20 bill. Cameraphone footage showed the stricken security guard crying ‘I can’t breathe’ as Chauvin knelt on his neck. The disturbing phrase has since become the rallying cry of Black Lives Matter protests held across the United States in the wake of Floyd’s death.
Floyd, who worked as a security guard, died shortly after the distressing video was shot. His death has sparked three days of rioting across Minneapolis, with hundreds of businesses looted, and scores of buildings burnt. President Trump called for an urgent investigation into Floyd’s death, and subsequently sparked fury after tweeting Friday morning that ‘looting means shooting.’
On Thursday, Hennepin County District Attorney Michael Freeman – who will prosecute any criminal case or cases related to Floyd’s death appealed for more witnesses as he told how his office had obtained unspecified evidence which meant there was a possibility no criminal charges would be brought.
Another video of the officers kneeling on Floyd’s neck shot from a different angle has since emerged, although it still is unclear whether this triggered Friday’s arrest.
Freeman said he and other law enforcement agencies were working hard to establish the facts of the case, then added: ‘But there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge.’ He refused to disclose further information when asked by reporters. Freeman said the video of Floyd’s final moments while a police officer was knelt on his neck was ‘graphic, horrible and terrible’ and added that his job is to ‘prove a violation of criminal statute.
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