George Floyd's family demands revised first-degree murder charge for officer who used 'inherently dangerous' restraintby Jeva Lange
The family of George Floyd is demanding stronger charges for the former Minneapolis police officer arrested Friday in connection with Floyd's death. Derek Chauvin received third-degree murder and manslaughter charges, despite evidently ignoring police training that would have taught that restraining a person in such a way as he did Floyd is "inherently dangerous," according to the criminal complaint.
"We want a first-degree murder charge," the family's statement said. "And we want to see the other [three] officers arrested. We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer."
The disturbing complaint describes how Chauvin placed "his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd's head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, 'I can't breathe' multiple times and repeatedly said 'Mama' and 'please' as well. The defendant [Chauvin] and the other two officers stayed in their positions."
Floyd then stopped breathing or speaking. One of the officers checked his pulse and said "I couldn't find one," but Chauvin did not remove his knee for several more minutes. An ambulance eventually arrived; Floyd was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Floyd's family is seeking an independent autopsy after the initial examination "revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation" and said Floyd's "underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease" could have contributed to his death while under police restraint. The report adds that "the defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive."