Barr says federal investigation of George Floyd ‘proceeding quickly’by Brooke Singman
Attorney General Bill Barr on Friday said that the Justice Department and the FBI's “independent investigation” into the death of George Floyd to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated is "proceeding quickly."
“The video images of the incident that ended with death of Mr. Floyd, while in custody of Minneapolis police officers, were harrowing to watch and deeply disturbing,” Barr said in a statement Friday.
MINNEAPOLIS COP WHO KNELT ON GEORGE FLOYD'S KNECK CHARGED WITH 3RD DEGREE MURDER
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he could not breathe, was charged Friday with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter in Minnesota.
Barr said that “on a separate and parallel track, the Department of Justice, including the FBI, are conducting an independent investigation to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated.”
“Both state and federal officers are working diligently and collaboratively to ensure that any available evidence relevant to these decisions is obtained as quickly as possible,” Barr said in a statement. “Under our system, charging decisions must be, and will be, based on the law and facts. This process is proceeding quickly.”
He added: “I am confident justice will be served.”
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the charges against Chauvin Friday, saying evidence against Chauvin included video from a bystander’s cell phone, body camera footage, as well as statements from witnesses and a preliminary report from the medical examiner.
“We felt in our professional judgment that it was time to charge and we have so done it,” Freeman said Friday.
Chauvin's arrest follows three days of protests across Minneapolis that led to looting, violence and a police precinct being torched.
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Freeman also defended the speed of the arrest against Chauvin.
"This is by far the fastest we have ever charged a police officer," Freeman said. "Normally these cases take nine months to a year. We have to charge these cases very carefully because we have a difficult burden of proof.”
Floyd was arrested Monday after an employee at a grocery store called police and accused him of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. Floyd, who is black, was then handcuffed by Chauvin, who is white, and pushed to the ground.
A cell phone video shows Floyd’s head is turned to the side and he does not appear to be resisting. Chauvin had his knee pressed to the back of Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd is seen gasping for air and begging Chauvin to stop. He does not. Bystanders are also heard shouting at Chauvin to take his knee off of Floyd’s neck.
Floyd, 46, died in police custody Monday night.
Fox News’ Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report.