US police officer has been charged with the murder of George Floyd

Musicians including Janelle Monáe and Ice Cube have led calls for justice in the US

A police officer has been charged with the murder of George Floyd in the US.

Derek Chauvin, who was sacked following Floyd’s death, has now been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis late on Monday (May 25) following an altercation with police officers. The incident has since led to hundreds protesting on the streets in Minnesota.

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Musicians including Janelle Monáe and Ice Cube led calls for justice in the US following the death along with John Boyega.

6LACK also issued a lengthy emotional response over Floyd’s death, writing on Twitter: “Nothing ever prepares you for how to feel when you’re constantly faced with the last dying breaths of black people, my people on your television or phone screens every single day. To be black in America is to be aware that I’m valued less by some of the people in this country.

“So I’m writing this letter because my heart and skin colour won’t ever allow me to be in the public eye and not make it very clear on where I stand in times of injustice. Always and forever before music, the respect of my people comes first.

“George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the many other names to be silenced, due to the abuse of power and racism, have not died in vain.”

Members of the music and film community around the world have also supported a new fund to assist protesters which has gone viral after it was shared by artists from across the music and film industries.

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The Minnesota Freedom Fund helps arrested protesters access bail money as the protests continue. Those donating can “match” an amount given by another person.

The US President Donald Trump weighed into the situation in Minneapolis, tweeting: “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..”

In a second post, he added: “These thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to [Minnesota] Governor Tim Waltz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

His tweets have since been flagged by Twitter for breaking the social media network site’s rules and inciting violence.

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