Former police officer Derek Chauvin, who was filmed kneeling on the neck of Minneapolis man George Floyd before his death, has been formally charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the news at a press conference overnight, telling reporters that Chauvin is in custody, and that officials are continuing to review the evidence around the case.
He added that the investigation is ongoing, and that there may be subsequent charges laid against other officers involved, however, authorities felt it “appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator” at this stage.
CNN reports that Derek Chauvin had 18 prior complaints against him with the Minneapolis Police Department’s Internal Affairs division prior to the death of George Floyd, although it is unclear what these complaints were for.
Chauvin was fired this week, along with three other officers who were present when he was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck during an arrest. Floyd, who was unarmed and handcuffed, said he couldn’t breathe, and later died in hospital.
The death of George Floyd has sparked widespread anger and civil unrest. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said that the protests that the fires smouldering in the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul are “symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish.”