George Floyd death: Three police officers to be criminally charged, attorney says

'None of the three officers moved from their positions', prosecutors say in Derek Chauvin's charging documents

Alex Woodward
New York
Tuesday 02 June 2020 19:13 BST
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Criminal charges are expected against three other officers at the scene of the police killing of George Floyd, according to his family's attorneys.

"We heard that they expect to charge those officers," family lawyer Benjamin Crump told NBC's Today on Tuesday. "We understand they will be charged. That is what the family is hearing from the authorities."

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter four days after he was captured in widely shared footage pressing his knee against Mr Floyd's neck for several minutes.

He was dismissed from the force along with three other officers at the scene, who have been identified as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng.

Mr Crump told MSNBC that he expects the other three officers to be arrested before Mr Floyd's funeral next week.

His announcement follows the results of an independent autopsy that shows Mr Floyd died from "asphyxiation from sustained pressure".

The results of a preliminarily medical exam in the criminal complaint against Mr Chauvin found "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation" and claimed that "underlying health conditions ... likely contributed to his death" despite widely shared footage of Mr Chauvin's knee forced against Mr Floyd.

On Monday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide.

The report says that Mr Floyd's death was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

Prosecutors said that "police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous".

While Mr Floyd called out "I can't breathe", "mama", and "please", "none of the three officers moved from their positions," prosecutors said.

The independent autopsy reveals that pressure applied to Mr Floyd's carotid artery "impeded blood flow to the brain, and weight on his back impeded his ability to breathe", killing him at the scene.

"What we found is consistent with what people saw," Dr Michael Baden said in a statement. "There is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death. Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That's not true."

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