Murder charge upgraded in Floyd case, 3 other cops charged


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WTVO) — Prosecutors are charging a Minneapolis police officer accused of pressing his knee against George Floyd’s neck with second-degree murder, and for the first time will level charges against three other officers at the scene

Attorney General Keith Ellison is expected to make the announcement at a 3 p.m. CT press conference.

The announcement comes a week after Floyd was killed in police custody, and a wave of nationwide protests of police violence against black citizens.

Former Officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen in a widely-circulated video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes, was charged with third degree murder and manslaughter last week.

Today, Chauvin’s charges were elevated to second degree murder.

Photo: Minneapolis Police Department

Three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder, including Thomas Lane, J.A. Keung, and Tou Thao.

Lane, 37, and Kueng both joined the department in February 2019 and neither had any complaints on their files.

Lane previously worked as a correctional officer at the Hennepin County juvenile jail and as a probation officer at a residential treatment facility for adolescent boys.

Kueng was a 2018 graduate of the University of Minnesota where he worked part-time as part of the campus security force. He also worked nearly three years as a theft-prevention officer at Macy’s in downtown Minneapolis while he was in college.

Tou Thao, a native Hmong speaker, joined the police force as a part-time community service officer in 2008 and was promoted to police officer in 2009. He was laid off later that year due to budget cuts and rehired in 2012.

According to the criminal complaint, Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck after he’d been restrained, and as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe. Lane twice asked to turn him on his side, the complaint said, but Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for three minutes after he became unresponsive.

The state of Minnesota filed a human rights complaint last Tuesday against the Minneapolis Police Department

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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