Three more police officers have been charged in connection with the murder of George Floyd.
Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Keung Tuesday all face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Derek Chauvin, who was last week charged in connection with Floyd’s death, has since seen his charge upgraded from third-degree murder to second-degree murder, according to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Klobuchar said on Twitter today (June 3) that the latest charges were “another important step for justice”.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin to 2nd degree in George Floyd’s murder and also charging other 3 officers. This is another important step for justice.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) June 3, 2020
Floyd family lawyer Benjamin Crump said in a statement [via BBC News]: “This is a significant step forward on the road to justice and we are gratified that this important action was brought before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest”.
Crump later told CNN that the family believed the charge against Chauvin should be first-degree murder and that they had been told that the investigation was ongoing and the charges could change further.
Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis on May 25 following an altercation with police officers. The incident led to hundreds protesting on the streets in Minnesota, and dozens of demos have now been held worldwide.
Chauvin was sacked following Floyd’s death, and was initiially charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Results from an independent autopsy earlier this week confirmed that Floyd died due to to asphyxiation resulting from pressure applied to his back and neck. These results differed from an initial autopsy that did not find evidence of “traumatic asphyxia or strangulation”, and that underlying health conditions played a role in the unarmed man’s death [via BBC].
Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) led a “take the knee” protest to show support for the anti-racist protests that began in the US last week.