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Prosecutors push to add third-degree murder charges against officers in George Floyd case

Prosecutors in Minnesota filed a motion Thursday asking a district court judge to reinstate a third-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis Police Of...

Posted: Feb 5, 2021 1:49 AM

Prosecutors in Minnesota filed a motion Thursday asking a district court judge to reinstate a third-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin and add the same charge to the cases against three other former officers.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison claims a recent appellate decision in the sentencing of another former Minneapolis police officer "is precedential and now provides this Court with clear guidance regarding the elements of third-degree murder."

Chauvin is accused of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in May.

In October, Judge Peter Cahill dropped a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin ruling the charge can "be sustained only in situations in which the defendant's actions were 'eminently dangerous to other persons' and were not specifically directed at the particular person whose death occurred."

The evidence presented by the state did not show that Chauvin's actions were "eminently dangerous" to anyone but Floyd, the ruling said.

Three other former officers involved in the incident -- Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao -- are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Eric Nelson, the attorney for Chauvin, had no comment on the attempt to reinstate the third-degree murder charge. CNN tried to reach attorneys for the other former officers but has not received any responses.

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died May 25 after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd said he couldn't breathe.

Floyd's final moments were captured on police and bystander video, and his death led to rioting and fires in the city as well as widespread protests against police brutality and racism. All four officers were fired.

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was sentenced in June 2019 by a Judge Kathryn Quaintance to 12½ years in prison for the fatal shooting of a woman while responding to her 911 call.

He was convicted on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Justine Ruszczyk.

His attorneys appealed his sentence and earlier this week the state's Court of Appeals upheld the decision.

Chauvin is set to go on trial March 8 while the trial for Thao, Lane, and Kueng is scheduled to begin August 23.

"The physical limitations of (the courtroom), the largest in the Hennepin County Government Center, make it impossible to comply with Covid-19 physical restrictions in a joint trial involving all four defendants beginning March 8, 2021 given the number of lawyers and support personnel the parties have now advised the Court are expected to be present during trial," Cahill said in a ruling filed January to split into separate trials.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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