US Cop Charged With Third-Degree Murder For Killing Unarmed Black Man
A Minneapolis policeman accused of killing unarmed African-American George Floyd by kneeling on his neck was taken into custody Friday and charged with third-degree murder, officials said.
Derek Chauvin is one of four officers who were fired shortly after a video emerged showing a handcuffed Floyd lying on the street as an officer identified as Chauvin pinned his knee to Floyd's neck for at least five minutes on Monday.
In the graphic video footage, Floyd is seen saying that he can not breathe. Eventually, he went silent and limp, and he was later declared dead.
The death of the 46-year-old Floyd has sparked days of sometimes violent demonstrations in Minneapolis and other US cities over police brutality against African-Americans.
Protests swelled after federal authorities said Thursday that they were making the case a top priority but announced no arrests at that time.
So far, hundreds of shops have been damaged and a police station set on fire.
"Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in custody," Hennepin County prosecutor Mike Freeman told reporters.
"Chauvin has been charged... with murder and with manslaughter," he added, specifying to reporters that the charge was third-degree murder.
US Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota applauded Chauvin's arrest, calling it "the first step towards justice."