Derek Chauvin, Minneapolis Officer Who Knelt On George Floyd’s Neck, Has Been Arrested
Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was filmed kneeling on George Floyd’s neck moments before his death, has been arrested.
Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck during an arrest until he lost consciousness on Monday, May 25, despite repeatedly telling officers he couldn’t breathe. Floyd, an unarmed and defenceless black man, later died in a nearby hospital.
Video footage shows these events unfold, and witnesses at the scene recall pleading with the police to stop hurting Floyd. However, prior to today, May 29, the only action taken was that the four officers involved were fired.
On Friday, May 29, John Harrington, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, announced that Chauvin had been taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
It was not immediately clear what the expected charges being brought against Chauvin were, although answers will likely be provided by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who has scheduled a press conference at 1.00pm (CDT) concerning a ‘major development’ in the case.
It comes less than 24 hours after Freeman declined to arrest Chauvin, saying there was evidence that does not support criminal charges against the disgraced police officer.
The prosecutor told reporters at a news conference, as per the New York Post:
That video is graphic and horrific and terrible and no person should do that. But my job, in the end, is to prove he violated a criminal statute, and there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge.
We need to wade through all of that evidence and come to a meaningful interpretation, and we are doing that to the best of our ability. We have to do this right, we have to do this in a court of law.
Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar shared news of the disgraced police officer’s arrest on Twitter, describing it as ‘the first step towards justice.’
The news comes as a new poll found the majority of Americans (78%) believe Chauvin should be arrested; of almost 5,700 people polled across the country, 78% agreed with the statement: ‘He should be arrested.’
The YouGov poll, which was released earlier today, May 29, also found that just 6% believe Chauvin should not be arrested, with 16% saying they don’t know.
The officer’s arrest has near-unanimous support from Democrats, with 90% saying he should be arrested and just 3% saying he should not be. Of those Republicans polled, 68% said he should be arrested with 9% saying he should not. 24% said they didn’t know.
Former president Barack Obama recognised the anguish and pain felt worldwide and today issued a statement on the matter, citing examples whereby people have been treated differently because of the colour of their skin – ‘dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park,’ he wrote.
The statement continued:
It’s natural to wish for life ‘to just get back to normal’ as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’.
This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal’. If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.
Rest in peace, George.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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