News recently broke that Derek Chauvin’s third-degree murder charge was to be upgraded to a second-degree charge, which carries a maximum sentence of forty years. It was also reported that the three other officers present during George Floyd’s murder, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, will likely be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder; the official charges have yet to be confirmed, with Attorney General Keith Ellison set to make a statement later today.
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Following the additional charges, George Floyd’s family and attorney Ben Crump have issued a statement of their own: “This is a bittersweet moment for the family of George Floyd. We are deeply gratified that Attorney General Keith Ellison took decisive action in this case, arresting and charging all the officers involved in George Floyd’s death and upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder. This is a significant step forward on the road to justice, and we are gratified that this important action was brought before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest.”
“That is a source of peace for George’s family in this painful time,” continues the statement. “Attorney General Ellison has informed the family that his office will continue to investigate and will upgrade the charges to first-degree murder if the evidence supports it. These officers knew they could act with impunity, given the Minneapolis Police Department’s widespread and prolonged pattern and practice of violating people’s constitutional rights. Therefore, we also demand permanent transparent police accountability at all levels and at all times.”
The statement went on to address those who rallied to support the Floyd family, marching in protest against police brutality and systemic racism. “We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support by Americans in cities across the country, and we urge them to raise their voices for change in peaceful ways. Our message to them is: Find constructive and positive ways to keep the focus and pressure on. Don’t let up on your demand for change.”
We can only hope that these charges will be the first step in sparking up a necessary change. Rest in peace to George Floyd, and all of those who lost their lives to police brutality. We at HotNewHipHop send our support to the entire Black community and all of those doing their part to ensure that justice is achieved. As the statement reminds us: “don’t let up on your demand for change.”