Minneapolis police officer charged with murder of George Floyd

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 30, 2020 - Duration: 03:43s

Minneapolis police officer charged with murder of George Floyd

A white former Minneapolis police officer was charged with murder on Friday after a bystander's video showed him pinning his knee into the neck of an unarmed black man who later died, an incident that triggered three nights of violent protests.

Colette Luke has more.

Minneapolis police officer charged with murder of George Floyd

After a night of violent protests and looting, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Friday called for calm while the officer at the center of the controversy was arrested and charged with murder.

Derek Chauvin, the white policeman seen on a bystander's video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter The protests in Minneapolis this week were sparked by outrage over Monday’s death of 46-year-old Floyd.

A bystander's cell phone footage showed Floyd repeatedly moaning and gasping while he pleaded to Chauvin, "Please, I can't breathe." After several minutes, Floyd gradually grows quiet and stops moving.

Earlier on Friday, Governor Walz called for "swift" justice for the officers involved and promised a reckoning with the racial inequities behind the unrest.

"I understand clearly there is no trust in many of our communities... Help us use a humane way to get the streets to restore the justice..." But he said that first the state's National Guard would work to restore order following three nights of unrest.

Walz also apologized for the arrest of a CNN TV crew who were led off in handcuffs while reporting live on television early on Friday close to a police precinct that was burned overnight.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday at a news conference did not take questions about the controversy in Minnesota, but did weigh in on the unrest earlier in the day with incendiary language that prompted Twitter to hide his tweet behind a warning that accused him of "glorifying violence" in violation of its rules.

Trump tweeted: "These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen…Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.

Thank you” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday struck a different tone.

“It’s time for us to take a hard look at the uncomfortable truths... We need justice for George Floyd.

We need real police reform." Trump later had a more measured response: "Terrible event... I asked that the DOJ to expedite the federal investigation into his death.

Do it immediately... We also have to make the statement that we have peaceful protesters.

We can't allow a situation like happened in Minneapolis to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos." More protests were expected in several U.S. cities on Friday over the killing of Floyd and other unarmed black people, including Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by police in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, in March.

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