Third-degree murder charge reinstated against ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen kneeling on the neck of George Floyd in a video that sparked nationwide protests and riots for months, is set to stand trial for the killing of Floyd at the end of March.

He will likely be facing a third-degree murder charge, in addition to other charges, when that trial begins after the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision to toss out that particular charge as inapplicable, the New York Post reported.

The appeals court ruled Friday that Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill had been incorrect to toss out the third-degree murder charge and sent the case back down to him with instructions to reconsider a request from prosecutors to reinstate the charge.

A question of precedence and applicability

Local NBC affiliate KARE reported that Judge Cahill had initially agreed with Chauvin’s defense attorneys that the third-degree murder charge was not applicable in this case as it typically was used in cases where a “death-causing act” had been applied broadly and was not directed at a single individual.

But prosecutors and the appeals court pointed to a recent case against another Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor, who was convicted on that same charge after he fatally shot an innocent civilian woman named Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a conviction that the appeals court had upheld.

The question now turns on whether the appeals court decision in the Noor case established a binding precedent on the use of the third-degree murder charge or if a final ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court will be necessary to fully establish the precedent.

The appeals court judges obviously believe that their ruling was sufficient to set the precedent, hence the decision to reverse Judge Cahill’s dismissal of the charge and the instructions for him to reconsider the issue and issue another ruling that “must be consistent with this opinion.”

If Chauvin’s attorneys decide to appeal the appeals court’s ruling to the state Supreme Court, the trial that is set to begin in a matter of weeks could be delayed for at least several more months.

Trial scheduled to begin within weeks

The Post reported that, in addition to the now-reinstated third-degree murder charge, Chauvin also faces a higher second-degree murder charge as well as a lesser manslaughter charge.

Jury selection was slated to take place starting on March 8 and the trial was set to begin at the end of the month, but all of that is up in the air now in light of the appeals court ruling.

Meanwhile, The Daily Wire reported that local authorities are increasing security measures ahead of the trial, likely fearing a repeat of the riots that erupted in Minneapolis following the death of Floyd last year.

That includes the use of concrete barriers, security fencing, and even barbed wire to protect the courthouse and police buildings, as well as an increased presence of law enforcement personnel from the Minneapolis Police Department, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota state troopers, and even Minnesota National Guard members.

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23 Responses

  1. It is too bad when a police officer is doing his duty and someone is resisting the charge and a police officer does not know this person has cardo problems, etc. He is doing his duty and the medical examine after the death said Floyd died of cardo problems and not the police resting on his neck. This is all racial against a white policeman. Sad that police no longer can do their duty and yet be in harms way and many are being killed and have major injuries.’This is all political and nothing to do with the law today. It is destroying our nation and only helps those who no longer respect people and our country to destroy the rest of us. So political so the Federal Government can use these cases to defund the police and yet put walls around them, persecute the Marines to be there to protect them along with other Secret Security. So sad we live in a social so bias against the good people and citizens that are trying to keep America great.

    1. In the 911 call that drew police, the caller described the man suspected of paying with counterfeit money as “awfully drunk and he’s not in control of himself.”
      The criminal complaint noted that the medical examiner’s report was preliminary, but said the autopsy “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

  2. Floyd was complaining that he couldn’t breathe before he was put in the squad car(that he escaped from) He died of an overdose of 2 deadly drugs. Chauvin was called in as “Extra” help as Floyd was resisting for too long. He HAD to be restrained.

    1. Hopefully there are enough jurors who will acquit the police officers and send a message that druggies get no reward or windfall from the justice system or the city….

      1. This man’s destiny depends not on a jury but on which political party he belongs to. When are people going wake up and understand what’s happening to our country? Communist are now in control of the government.

      2. How many times have we heard blacks complaining about the police….Their children, spouse, aunt, uncle, etc……..are always stating that those blacks are great people even if they kill, rob, etc…………..To listen to their idiocy is only letting others know, they do not care what they are guilty of, as long as police are subjected to the threat of prison.

        GOD BLESS all police and do keep doing the great job you always do.

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  4. This is a political smear of police officers to gain political agenda to defend police in Minnesota and around the country, nothing ELSE

  5. The officer can never get a fair trial unless you protect the jury. Black Lazy Monsters will attack anyone who comes in the way of their $$$Millions in settlements.
    Does this mean that criminals who overdose, resist arrest, loot … are rewarded for vicious behavior?

  6. It was reported in the autopsy report that George Floyd had more than enough drugs in his system to kill him. The knee on his throat did not kill him but it did keep him restrained until he was unconscious. He died of a drug overdose!

    1. In our now communist country justice matters not. We must wake up and realize that our Republic is near gone.

  7. He should have been charged with manslaughter instead of third-degree murder because he never meant for the guy to die.

  8. Congratulations to BLM, a communist organization working to overthrow our govt on raising 2 billion in donations from stupid people and than turned the money over to the democratic party. Floyd’s death, a jerk who took two drugs that slow your heart down was used by BLM to start and promote their agenda of “tearing it down to rebuilt it for communism” as BLM says. What makes a person to take drugs that slow your heart down and kill you. Was he looking to die and at the last minute decided he wanted to live. Did he plan it and tried to back out. And how and where do you get drugs used in surgeries to slow the heart down so they can do certain surgeries. The autopsy showed the truth and the cop shouldn’t be under any charges especially murder charges. This is true BLM commie and democrat politics used to gain money, money, money and none of the money went to help blacks as BLM destroyed blacks communities and livelihoods.

  9. The drugs that killed Floyd were most likely made in Asia and came over the Southern Border into the USA.
    That is the same border Biden just totally opened up.
    Nuff SAID!

  10. It is a shame that the Black lives matter has been a political call to justify killing of innocent people during the riots that took place in many of the democratic states where the governors and mayors told the police to stand down when property was being destroyed and police were killed yet Kamala Harris obtained funding to bail the lotters and killers out of jail and no one was tried for these murders and property damage. When the say they will protect against foreign and domestic terrorists she then should be tried for treason since she is part of the domestic terrorist by definition. No matter how we cut it all lives matter and the individuals and groups that don’t agree not even GOD has to much room in heaven for you. First it was the African rulers that sold your great grandparents into slavery through the Dutch slave traders and only two countries have fought to free slavery is the United States and Hattie. It would be good if you went back to Africa and demanded that the African rulers that profited by the slave trade pay for the burden that many black have suffered but remember all counties have had slavery and many today still have slavery so be happy that you do not live in those counties and become a positive member of society instead of trying to tear it down

    1. There’s several white communist white people behind every black person paying them and urging them on. The evil is darkness and getting darker day by day.

  11. Every riot across the country was planned to get the communist democrats in power. I fear they will not leave without force with extreme prejudice, if people truly want their constitution and the rule of law back and freedom! People are still not getting why Trump was attached beginning the day he announced he was running for President. Trump stood in their way to change America into China’s image. Wake up people and use your brains. Think these things out.

  12. Idiots!!!!!! Here was a career criminal committing several violations of the law. He was on several drugs which caused his death. He said he could not breath before he was ever placed under arrest. These idiots all around the states destroyed many lives and business for a piece of trash who had been arrested numerous times and would have continued his illegal activities if he had not died from a drug overdose. Justice needs to be done and the officers need to be found not guilty because they were doing their job and a career drug user and criminal committed a crime then resisted arrest.

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