Floyd’s killing: New charges against 4 Minneapolis policemen as protests continue

06/04/2020

Minneapolis, June 4: Prosecutors on Wednesday leveled new criminal charges against four Minneapolis policemen implicated in the death of a black man pinned by his neck to the street during an arrest that sparked more than a week of nationwide protest and civil strife.

The added murder charge filed against one officer already in custody and the arrest of three more accused of playing a role in the killing of George Floyd, 46, came as several nights of escalating unrest gave way to mostly peaceful protests.

Thousands of demonstrators massed near the White House lit up their cellphone flashlights and sang along to the 1970s soul tune "Lean on Me," before resuming a chorus of anti-police chants.

In a further display of self-policing seen in Washington and elsewhere this week, a number of protesters urge some of their more provocative cohorts to stop taunting police and leave.

Several major cities scaled back or lifted curfews imposed for the past few days. But not all was calm.

In New York City's Brooklyn borough, police in riot gear charged into a crowd of about 1,000 protesters defying a local curfew, albeit peacefully, near an outdoor plaza, and clubbed demonstrators and journalists as they scurried for cover in a downpour of heavy rain.

The confrontation in Brooklyn seemed to be the biggest exception to a calmer night, hours after the new charges in Minneapolis.

Derek Chauvin, jailed Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter, was newly charged with second-degree murder.

The added charge, defined under Minnesota law as unintentionally causing another person's death in the commission of a felony offense, can carry a sentence of up to 40 years, 15 years longer than the maximum sentence for third-degree murder.

Chauvin, 44, was the white officer seen in widely circulated video footage kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd gasped for air and repeatedly groaned, "Please, I can't breathe."

Floyd, whom police suspected of trying to pass a counterfeit bill to pay for cigarettes, was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after the May 25 encounter.

Three fellow officers fired from the Minneapolis police department along with Chauvin the next day were charged on Wednesday - each with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.

The three men Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao have also been taken into custody. Aiding and abetting second-degree murder carries the same maximum punishment as the underlying offense 40 years in prison.

Floyd's death has become the latest flashpoint for long-simmering rage over police brutality against African-Americans, propelling the issue of racial justice to the top of the political agenda five months before the US presidential election on Nov. 3.

The spectacle of city streets flooded with angry though mostly peaceful protesters punctuated by scenes of arson, looting and clashes with police have fueled a sense of crisis.

The upheavals have flared following weeks of social lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced millions of Americans out of work and disproportionately affected minorities.-Agencies

Related News

Protests heat up as curfews imposed in several US cities

Minniapolis, May 31: Civil unrest flared and curfews were imposed in several major US cities on Saturday as demonstrators took to the streets to vent outrage at the death of a black man shown on video gasping for breath as a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck. From Los…

George Floyd died of "neck compression", it was "homicide": Autopsy

Washington, June 2: Two doctors who carried out an independent autopsy of George Floyd, the black man whose death in Minneapolis police custody last week triggered nationwide protests, said on Monday that he died from asphyxiation and that his death was a homicide. The doctors also said Floyd had no…

Modi confident of getting growth back; says onus now on industry

New Delhi, June 2: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed confidence that India would revert to the high economic growth path if industrialists took advantage of the Rs 20-lakh crore fiscal support package and the opening up of several strategic sectors. According to the Indian Media, Asking the…

Trump threatens to call in troops to end unrest

Washington, June 3: President Donald Trump has threatened to deploy the military if the states fail to take necessary action to "dominate the streets" and "quell" the violent protests that have spread across the country over the custodial killing of African-American George Floyd. During a hurriedly-convened address to the nation…

Former Defense Secretary Mattis denounces Trump and military response to crisis

Washington, June 4: After long refusing to explicitly criticize a sitting president, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis accused President Donald Trump on Wednesday of trying to divide America and roundly denounced a militarization of the US response to civil unrest. The remarks by Mattis, an influential retired Marine general who…

'Get your knee off our necks!': George Floyd mourned in Minneapolis

Menneapolis, June 5: Celebrities, musicians and political leaders gathered in front of George Floyd's golden casket Thursday for a fiery memorial service for the man whose death at the hands of police sparked global protests, with a civil rights leader declaring it is time for black people to demand, “Get…

Video

Find Us on Facebook

From Social