Three more fired Minneapolis police officers who were involved in the fatal arrest of George Floyd have now been charged in the case.
Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced in a news conference Wednesday.
Additionally, Derek Chauvin, who was seen in viral videos pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck, now faces an upgraded charge of second-degree murder. Last week, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
“I believe the evidence available to us now supports the stronger charge of second-degree murder,” Ellison said.
He added, “I strongly believe that these developments are in the interest of justice for Mr. Floyd, his family, our community and our state.”
[Watch Ellison’s News Conference Below]
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According to prosecutors, Chauvin, 44, kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. Lane and Kueng helped hold Floyd down while Thao stood watch.
Eyewitness video showed Floyd, an African American man, pleading for his life on May 25 as Chauvin, who is white, applied pressure to his neck with his knee.
The four officers involved were fired the following day after bystander video taken outside a Minneapolis grocery store went viral.
The Minneapolis Police Department said the officers were responding to a forgery call at the grocery store.
The officers alleged Floyd, 46, “physically resisted” after he got out of his car, but surveillance video from a nearby Minneapolis restaurant contradicted the police account and showed Floyd appearing to comply with the officers’ commands.