3:35 PM PT — Authorities are not yet ready to charge any of the officers involved in Floyd’s death. The point of the news conference was to let the public know they’re working on the case, and to plead for patience and an end to violent protests.
Erica MacDonald, the U.S. Attorney of the District of Minnesota, opened by saying a “robust and meticulous investigation” into the horrible incident and the actions of the police officers involved is underway. She says they are working around the clock to determine whether one or more of the cops committed a criminal civil rights violation.
MacDonald described Floyd’s death as a “disturbing loss of life,” and says the case is a top priority for the Department of Justice, and President Trump and Attorney General William Barr are actively monitoring the situation.
She also said it “breaks my heart” to see what’s happening in Minneapolis — the riots, looting and violence — and pleaded with the public to remain calm … and let them conduct their investigation. MacDonald and others encouraged peaceful protests.
Rainer Drolshagen, the FBI special agent in charge, also called for anyone who has information related to Floyd’s case to come forward, saying, “no tip is too small.”
Finally — when asked how it’s possible the police officer in the video seen pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck hasn’t been charged yet — Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he will not be quick to rush to justice.
He stated there is certainly evidence that suggests a criminal charge could be coming, but also said, “There is other evidence that does not warrant a criminal charge.” Freeman strongly implied he wants to get this right, and only bring charges when he knows they will stick.
1:29 PM PT — Sources connected to George Floyd’s family tell TMZ … the FBI contacted the family ahead of the news conference and said “justice will be done.” It sounds like they may announce charges.
The FBI and local prosecutors in Minneapolis are about to hold a news conference to announce developments — and possible charges — in the George Floyd killing.
We’re told the announcements will be significant, and possibly accelerated by the unrest in the City following the shocking and unjustified death of Floyd.
In fact, ahead of the news conference, Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputies were lined up outside the D.A.’s Office.
The 4 officers involved have been fired, but there are cries for them to be prosecuted for murder.
The City has been gripped by 2 straight nights of protests, fires, tear gas … and showdowns with police in riot gear.
Floyd’s brother and cousin, along with the family lawyer, Ben Crump, appeared on “TMZ Live” and said there can be no justice unless criminal charges are filed. Congresswoman Maxine Waters said it’s particularly appalling because she feels the officer who had his knee on George’s neck for more than 5 minutes seemed to be enjoying it.
Originally published — 1:13 PM PT