George Floyd’s family was informed by authorities on Tuesday that the other three former police officers involved in the arrest and killing of the deceased Minneapolis resident are expected to face criminal charges, according to Ben Crump, an attorney for the family.
“They will be charged. That is what the family is hearing from authorities,” Crump said in an interview on NBC’s ‘Today’ show.
In the footage of the brutal incident, Chauvin, who is currently facing third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges for kneeling on Floyd’s neck until the latter was dead, was accompanied by other three officers, two of whom restrained the victim, while the third stood by as Floyd desperately repeated, “I can’t breathe”.
Two autopsy reports on Floyd’s death, one by the Hennepin County medical examiner, and a second independent autopsy authorized by the Floyd family, have ruled the 46-year-old’s death a homicide.
Earlier, a preliminary autopsy cited last week by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office’s criminal complaint against Chauvin claimed that there were “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation”.
“And now with the autopsy, the independent autopsy from the family that pays particular attention to the two knees at the back compressing his lungs, which is equally important as the neck compression cutting off the flow of air [...] they will be charged, we understand,” Crump said.
The attorney also said that the family is seeking to upgrade the charges against the Chauvin to first-degree murder.
“If this was you or I, nobody would question if this is first-degree murder,” the attorney told the host of the show. “But why is it when white police kills a black person in America we act like it’s such a difficult thing to charge them with what we would be charged with?”
On 25 May, George Floyd, an African-American resident of Minneapolis, was killed by a white police officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, while being arrested. The officer put his knee on the Floyd’s neck and kept it there for over 8 minutes, even after Floyd gasped, “can't breathe” and begged for air.
The tragic incident has triggered ongoing nationwide demonstrations across the US and in many international cities.
All four officers involved in the arrest and death were quickly fired after the incident, and three days later, as protests spiraled out of control, Chauvin was subsequently arrested on third-degree murder charges.