Yesterday marks the 9th night of protesters gathering to call for police accountability and justice for George Floyd.
According to CNN, Minnesota prosecutors finally added a second-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, and charged three more former officers in Floyd’s death – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng.
“I strongly believe that these developments are in the interest of justice for Mr Floyd, his family, our community and our state,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said yesterday when announcing the charges.
These new chargers came after news reports stated that an independent autopsy shows that Floyd died from asphyxiation caused by neck and back compression.
Medical examiners found that pressure on Floyd’s carotid artery impeded blood flow to his brain and weight on his back impeded his ability to breathe. From all the evidence, doctors Michael Baden and Allecia Wilson said it now appears that he died at the scene.
“What we found is consistent with what people saw. There is no 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,” said Dr Baden.
The autopsy states that the two officers kneeling on Floyd’s back also played a contributing factor in his death in addition to Chauvin sustaining pressure on Floyd’s neck with his knee for eight minutes, the handcuffs and Floyd’s positioning.
The fourth officer who stood by is described as a “physical blue shield – a living symbol of the code of silence”.
All four officers have been arrested and are being held respectively on USD$1 million bail. Second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree murder are punishable by up to 40 years in prison. Manslaughter and aiding and abetting manslaughter are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The lawyer for Floyd’s family, Attorney Ben Crump said, “For George Floyd, the ambulance was his hearse.”
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