4:08 PM PT — We’ve obtained the mugshots of officers Thao, Kueng and Lane … all 3 are now in custody and have bail set at $1 million.
1:29 PM PT — Attorney General Keith Ellison says the evidence now supports the stronger charge for Chauvin along with the arrests and charges of the other 3 officers.
Ellison asked the public for more patience as they continue to thoroughly investigate and gather evidence, and issued ominous words of caution — winning a conviction “will be hard.”
He says history has shown there will be clear challenges in getting guilty verdicts for the cops but pointed out that his partner on the case, Hennepin Co. Atty Mike Freeman is the right man for the job … he’s the only lawyer in Minnesota to convict a cop of murder.
The AG also asked anyone who has information about Floyd’s death to come forward, and made it clear he will not rush the case to trial … because he wants everything to be completely ready to go and as strong as possible when they go to court.
The 3 officers who stood by as Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd have all been arrested and charged with crimes, and Chauvin now faces a 2nd-degree murder charge.
As for the 3 officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — they’ve all been charged with felonies — aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
It’s interesting … the complaint calls the 2nd-degree murder charge “unintentional while committing a felony.” So, they’re charging Chauvin on felony murder for the excessive force that led to Floyd’s death. The underlying felony is excessive force and an assault against Floyd.
It’s extremely significant because the 3 officers who stood by will be noticed by every other cop in the country. Now, when a cop crosses the line and another cop observes it, that second cop will presumably think twice before just watching and doing nothing.
Chauvin now faces 40 years in prison — that’s the maximum penalty for 2nd-degree murder.
As for the other 3 … they face 40 years each — the same punishment for 2nd-degree murder.
Attorney Lee Merritt, who reps the Floyd family along with attorney Ben Crump, tells us the reason he and others have been pushing so hard for the officers involved in Floyd’s death to be held accountable … is to encourage all cops to start becoming part of the solution to police brutality.
Lee hopes George’s murder case sends a message — cops need to oppose bad cops in order to be good cops. He says this can be a positive step toward changing a system that’s enabled mistreatment of black people for so long … and there’s already signs it’s happening.
Meanwhile, Ben Crump calls the upgraded charge for Chauvin and the arrest of the 3 other former officers a “bittersweet moment” for the Floyd family. He says … “This is a significant step forward on the road to justice” and is providing some peace for George’s family in this painful time.
You can clearly see it was more than just Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s body … with 3 ex-officers total on him at one time.
The independent autopsy at the behest of Floyd’s family revealed he died from asphyxia as a result of neck and back compression.
Originally published — 10:34 AM PT