Derek Chauvin, the white former Minneapolis police officer who was videotaped Monday kneeling on George Floyd’s neck while he pleaded “I can’t breathe,” was arrested on Friday for Floyd’s murder. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced.
In cell phone footage taken Monday by a bystander, Derek Chauvin can be seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes while arresting him over allegedly paying with a counterfeit $20 bill. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was handcuffed and can be heard saying that he cannot breathe. Floyd was pronounced dead later that night while in police custody.
Footage of Floyd’s arrest has sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the country over the past three days, some of which have grown violent.
When asked why Derek Chauvin wasn’t arrested for Floyd’s killing earlier, Freeman said his office charged the case “as quickly as sufficient admissible evidence” could be investigated. He said their office now has enough evidence to charge Freeman, including the cellphone footage of Floyd’s arrest, body camera footage from responding officers, statements from witnesses, a preliminary report from a medical examiner and discussions with an expert. Derek Chauvin’s attorney did not immediately respond to Radio On Fire’s request for comment.