Officers charged in Floyd death

Officers charged in Floyd death

American anti-racism protests …

Prosecutors charged three more police officers in the death of George Floyd and filed a new, tougher charge against the officer at the centre of the case, delivering a victory to protesters who have filled the streets from coast to coast to fight police brutality and racial injustice.

The most serious charge was filed against Derek Chauvin, a former Minnesota police officer, who was caught on video pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck and now must defend himself against an accusation of second-degree murder. The three other officers at the scene were charged for the first time with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The charges against Chauvin are an upgrade from his original third-degree murder charge, which is typically for acts “eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind,” but with no intent to kill. 

All four were fired last week.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said at a press conference Wednesday that arrest warrants were also issued for three other fired officers, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao, who were present during Floyd’s arrest on May 25. They face the same maximum penalties for aiding and abetting. All three men were in custody by Wednesday evening. Chauvin was arrested last week and is still being held.

The multiple charges against each officer would offer a jury more options to find them guilty.

Anti-racism in Canada …

B.C. Premier John Horgan is calling on the federal government to lead an anti-racism program, saying fighting racism needs a nationwide plan to ensure the participation and support of Canadians.

The premier said Wednesday he will lobby for a national anti-racism program during a conference call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his fellow premiers Thursday.

Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States and saddened by the unfolding situation as protests continue in cities across America.

“We are pretty clear in B.C. that again we are wanting to push as hard as we can for national approaches to these vexing problems,” he said at a news conference. “We have enough to deal with here in B.C. by ourselves, but if we are aided by a federal program and a federal initiative that has us all working together from coast to coast to coast, I think that lifts up all Canadians.”

Horgan said a federal plan, supported by the provinces, will add strength to messages of anti-racism in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2020

The Canadian Press