The Minneapolis police officer involved in the death of George Floyd has been charged with murder.
Derek Chauvin, the now-former Minneapolis cop who was captured on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck during what became a fatal arrest, was indicted for manslaughter and third-degree murder just hours after a mob all but took command of the city and set Chauvin’s precinct on fire, Fox News reported.
A viral video of Floyd’s death while handcuffed in police custody has set off a conflagration of violent rage in Minneapolis that has spread to cities all over America. In the disturbing video, Floyd is heard desperately begging for air, saying, “I can’t breathe,” as Chauvin crushes his neck with his knee for several minutes, according to an Associated Press report shared by The New York Times.
Authorities announced Friday that they were bringing charges against Chauvin, who was fired along with three other cops who were on duty with him, Fox News noted.
“We felt in our professional judgment that it was time to charge and we have so done it,” Michael Freeman, the Hennepin County District Attorney, told reporters, according to Fox News.
For three days before Chauvin’s arrest, Minneapolis became a dystopian scene as some protesters turned into rioters and took justice into their own hands, looting businesses and torching buildings to the ground. Previously, it appeared that the officers might escape charges when Freeman announced Thursday that some evidence “does not support a criminal charge” against the cops, as Breitbart reported.
The news seemed primed to enrage an already vicious mob that has essentially taken control of Minneapolis — and the unrest reached a frightening level on Thursday night as rioters took over Chauvin’s police precinct and set it on fire, according to Fox 9 in Minneapolis, setting off warnings from the city to steer clear of the area for fear of an explosion.
According to Fox News, Freeman said that the other cops could also face charges, although it remains to be seen whether that will satiate the demonstrators.
Protests have already cropped up in cities around the country, like New York, Denver, and Columbus, Ohio, and at least seven people were shot during demonstrations in Louisville, Kentucky over the killing of a black woman named Breonna Taylor, the AP reported separately.
The scene in Minneapolis Thursday night seemed to symbolize the defeat of law and order, as authorities reportedly gave up on defending the precinct and the governor called in 500 National Guard troops, Fox 9 reported, to take back the city from “protesters” whose actions came to resemble domestic terrorism.
President Donald Trump weighed in early Friday morning in a pair of tweets promising to crush the riots if necessary, warning, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” — a remark that prompted Twitter to censor one of his tweets, according to Fox News.
But the president is right: Chauvin has been charged. Now, the authorities need to crush these riots, send the thugs responsible to jail, and let the justice system handle Floyd’s killers.