MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck was arrested on murder charges Friday and accused in court papers of ignoring another officer’s concerns about the handcuffed black man who died after pleading that he could not breathe.
Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the case, which sparked protests across the United States and fires and looting in Minneapolis. An attorney for Floyd’s family welcomed the arrest, but said he expected a more serious murder charge and wanted all the officers arrested.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said more charges were possible. He said the investigation into three other officers who were at the scene continues, but authorities “felt it appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator.”
Chauvin allegedly disregarded the worries of the other officer, who wanted to roll Floyd onto his side, according to the criminal complaint.
The papers also said that an autopsy revealed nothing to support strangulation as the cause of death. The exam concluded that the combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, likely contributed to his death, according to the complaint. Floyd’s family was seeking an independent autopsy.