Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, is now facing a new charge of second-degree murder. He was originally charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Second-degree murder is not premeditated and the suspect did not intend to cause death under the Minnesota state law. The maximum penalty for the charge is typically a prison sentence of 40 years.
Chauvin was involved in the fatal arrest of African-American man George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States along with fellow former Minneapolis Police Department officers Thomas K. Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34. Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison announced the details of the charges they are facing during a press conference on June 3, 2020.
“I strongly believe that these developments are in the interest of justice for Mr. Floyd, his family, our community and our state,” Ellison said. Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar took to Twitter to confirm the announcement.
Assisted by Kueng and Lane with Thao watching, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. More than an hour later, Floyd was declared dead in the emergency room of Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death reawakened the Black Lives Matter movement and ignited anti-police brutality protests across the U.S. The Minneapolis Police Department fired Chauvin, Lane, Kueng and Thao on May 26, 2020.
On May 29, 2020, Chauvin was arrested with a bail set for $500,000. His bail has been increased to $1 million.
Originally detained at Ramsey County Jail in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Chauvin was transferred to the Hennepin County Jail in Hennepin County, Minnesota on May 31, 2020. On the same day, he was released to a maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota called the Minnesota Correctional Facility.
Lane, Thao and Kueng have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony and with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence. They face a maximum prison sentence of six years.