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'This gives us hope.' George Floyd's family praises federal indictment of 4 former police officers

A federal grand jury has indicted four former Minneapolis police officers in connection with the death of George Floyd, alleging the officers violated Floyd's constitutional rights.

Posted: May 7, 2021 9:37 AM
Updated: May 8, 2021 1:15 PM


Members of George Floyd's family on Saturday praised the news that four former Minneapolis police officers will face federal charges in connection to his death, saying they were 'very grateful.'

Floyd's nephew Brandon Williams said during a news conference held not far from the Houston apartments where his uncle grew up that the indictments 'meant the world' to his family.

'If you saw that video, it's self explanatory. We all know that it was a murder and a torture in broad daylight,' Williams said, referring to bystander video that showed the officers restraining George Floyd in late May 2020, with one kneeling on his uncle's neck. 'We all know that his civil rights were violated.'

'But this gives us hope,' he said. 'This lets us know that there is change on the way if we keep pressing and mashing the gas for people in leadership to pass laws. We need police reform. There's no way the color of your skin or your race dictates how you are policed when in police custody. That's absolutely unacceptable.'

The Department of Justice announced the indictment Friday, alleging ex-officers Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane had violated George Floyd's rights when they restrained him in late May 2020.

CNN has reached out to attorneys for all four officers for comment. Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson declined to comment, as did Thomas Plunkett, an attorney representing Kueng.

The indictment says Chauvin -- who was convicted of state murder charges in Floyd's death last month -- deprived Floyd of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, including unreasonable force by a police officer, as he knelt on the 46-year-old Black man. Thao and Kueng were charged in connection to their failure to intervene, and all four officers were charged for failing to give Floyd medical attention.

Thao, Kueng and Lane have also pleaded not guilty to state charges. Their joint trial is expected later this summer.

The family was told about the indictments during a 15-minute phone call Friday with Attorney General Merrick Garland, said Rodney Floyd, George Floyd's brother.

'You could hear the sincerity in is voice, you could hear that he was very touched and moved by our brother's death and these police officers' conduct.'

'It put a smile on our faces,' Rodney Floyd said, and the family believes Garland is 'going to give this his all, one hundred percent' and hold the officers accountable.

Civil rights lawyer and Floyd family attorney Ben Crump also spoke at the news conference Saturday, along with US Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green and Houston City Councilwoman Carolyn Evans-Shabazz.

Jackson Lee, Green and Crump commended the Justice Department, with Crump framing the indictments as an indication to future generations that the department would 'be here to make sure that all of American citizens are afforded the constitutional rights of life and liberty and equal justice.'

'The winds of change are blowing across this country,' Green said. 'And with these winds of change, we now have a Justice Department that understands that it doesn't end at the state level. The Justice Department can pick these cases up and let us have complete justice.'

Jackson Lee echoed that sentiment, saying, 'Today ... we announce that the Department of Justice is open for business, and lives will be saved.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 205154

Reported Deaths: 2730
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40141612
Washington26650247
Marion23258322
Clackamas18773234
Lane13777158
Jackson11420146
Deschutes994080
Umatilla851786
Linn551779
Klamath475377
Yamhill475079
Polk393755
Douglas379780
Malheur359763
Josephine353272
Benton324022
Jefferson235738
Coos215737
Columbia188829
Union148824
Wasco143429
Lincoln141221
Crook127623
Hood River121533
Morrow115216
Clatsop10318
Baker99315
Curry68510
Tillamook6604
Grant5487
Lake4667
Harney4239
Wallowa1945
Gilliam751
Sherman661
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3803094

Reported Deaths: 63204
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124643624433
Riverside3013294620
San Bernardino2990144788
San Diego2813133770
Orange2727455103
Santa Clara1199462177
Kern1106171400
Sacramento1073951723
Fresno1027951720
Alameda893401285
Ventura815721028
San Joaquin744191432
Contra Costa70358810
Stanislaus632661068
Tulare49758849
Monterey43804420
San Mateo42611581
San Francisco37197555
Santa Barbara34577460
Solano33625266
Merced32272474
Sonoma30688323
Imperial28800741
Placer23383299
Kings23170247
San Luis Obispo21411261
Madera16590245
Santa Cruz16206208
Marin14184229
Yolo14120212
Shasta12599232
Butte12586194
El Dorado10351116
Napa999580
Sutter9628112
Yuba646150
San Benito610263
Lassen577524
Tehama571663
Nevada488375
Humboldt443446
Mendocino428250
Tuolumne419970
Amador372147
Lake355645
Glenn242527
Siskiyou239037
Colusa227918
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14528
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7356
Modoc5344
Mariposa4647
Trinity4175
Sierra1130
Alpine890
Unassigned370
Medford
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Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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Grants Pass
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Klamath Falls
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Tonight: Today was our first dry day in a while, although we can't rule out a stray shower or thunderstorm popping up in extreme northern portions of Lake or Klamath counties. Models are hinting that most of this should stay to our north, towards the Bend area. Any lingering clouds today will quickly dissipate by the evening. However, it could prove to be a breezy night in portions of Siskiyou County. Low temperatures will drop down to the upper 30s to low 40s in Northern California, the Klamath Basin, and in the Cascades. Along the coast and in the Rogue Valley, lows will be in the upper 40s to low 50s.

Tomorrow: Our Wednesday will be substantially warmer compared to our Tuesday. Relief from the heat in the form of cloud cover will be absent. High temperatures will be in the upper 80s to low 90s in the Rogue Valley and in Northern California. Highs will be in the mid 80s in the Klamath Basin, mid 70s in the Cascades, and in the upper 60s to low 70s along the coast. The breezy conditions in Siskiyou County from tonight will carry over into Wednesday, and gusts could reach 25 mph in some coastal communities as well. 

Extended: Thursday will be even hotter than Wednesday, and it'll just be a continuation of the stale weather pattern we're about to be in. Skies should remain clear for the forseeable future, and blistering heat looks to be in store for the weekend. We could be talking about high temperature in the upper 90s to triple digits in the Rogue Valley and Siskiyou County. Highs could be in the 90s in the Klamath Basin, in the 80s in the Cascades, and in the 70s along the coast.

Most of the beneficial rain that fell over the weekend was concentrated over the coast, meaning that drought conditions probably didn't improve much in the Rogue Valley and points eastward. As we stay dry and hot throughout the rest of the week, we'll be watching for the return of favorable fire conditions, especially in Lake County. The good news is that winds appear to be light towards the end of the week, which should limit the wildfire threat to some degree.

A FREEZE WARNING has been issued for our westside valleys in Jackson, Josephine and Curry Counties until 8 AM Wednesday. Low temperatures in these areas will fall down to near and even below freezing overnight. The coldest temperatures will be in the Applegate and Illinois Valley where temperatures could dip into the upper 20s. With widespread frost and possible freezing temperatures, be sure to protect and cover any sensitive plants.
Tonight: The clear and warm day will give way to a clear and mild evening. Temperatures for inland areas this evening will stay solidly in the 50s and 60s through the 8 P.M. hour, meaning this will be a near picture perfect evening for a barbecue or Wednesday evening walk. Overnight low temperatures will also stay more mild than recently, falling into the mid to upper 30s in our westside valleys with mid to upper 20s east of the Cascades. The coast will see temperatures staying in the 40s through the overnight hours. 
Extended: Beyond Wednesday, we'll see a very gradual and slow cooling trend through the rest of the workweek, but temperatures will remain above average. Easter Weekend will start off dry, but clouds will increase and by Easter Sunday, we could be looking at some chances for rain for at least parts of our region. We'll be keeping a close eye on this system and your holiday weekend forecast. It's possible wet weather could continue into next week with cooler temperatures.

Stay updated on the StormWatch 12 forecast on-air and online.

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