Four days after Derek Chauvin was seen on video with his knee in the neck of George Floyd, he was finally arrested and charged on May 29. The 44-year-old was charged with third degree murder and manslaughter, according to the Hennepin County, Minnesota attorney Mike Freeman.
See his mugshot below:
According to KVIA, he is being held on $500,000 bail.
Additionally, according to KTSP, Chauvin’s wife, Kellie Chauvin, filed for divorce. Her attorney released the following statement.
"This evening, I spoke with Kellie Chauvin and her family. She is devastated by Mr. Floyd's death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy. She has filed for dissolution of her marriage to Derek Chauvin. While Ms. Chauvin has no children from her current marriage, she respectfully requests that her children, her elder parents, and her extended family be given safety and privacy during this difficult time."
It’s not clear how long they were married.
Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who was recorded in a cellphone video with his knee in the neck of George Floyd while attempting to apprehend him, causing his death has been arrested and charged with Third Degree murder and manslaughter, the Hennepin County, Minnesota attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday afternoon (May 29) He was taken into custody by the Minneapolis Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
“We felt it appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator,” said Freeman. “We have never charged a case in that kind of time frame and we can only charge a case when we have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington sent out notification of the arrest Friday afternoon (May 29).
The arrest took place amidst three continuous days of social unrest in the city over Floyd’s death. Property all over the city has been burned and looted and at least one person was reported dead in the chaos. Activists and even Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had called for him to be arrested days ago.
The other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng were all fired along with Chauvin earlier this week, but they have not been charged as of yet. Freeman did not speculate on their cases but said he “anticipates” charges against them.
Floyd’s family released a statement Friday afternoon, saying the Third Degree murder charge was welcome, but not enough.
"We expected a first-degree murder charge, we want a first-degree murder charge," the family said through their attorney Benjamin Crump. "And we want to see the other officers arrested. We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer. The pain that the black community feels over this murder and what it reflects about the treatment of Black people in America is raw and is spilling out onto streets across America."
Freeman added that his office has never charged a police officer so swiftly and that they are the exact same charges held against Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American Minneapolis cop, who shot and killed a white woman, Justine Damond in 2017. He was convicted of her murder and is currently incarcerated.
Demonstrations remained chaotic for a third night in Minneapolis with frustrated protesters going as far as burning a police precinct Thursday night (May 28). Many of the protests over the past three days have been peaceful, with thousands amassing in the city’s downtown area to protest.
Floyd died May 25, when Chauvin attempted to arrest him by placing his knee on the 46-year-old’s neck causing him to lose consciousness and die.
Earlier on Friday, Twitter placed a warning on a tweet sent out by Donald Trump saying that demonstrators in Minneapolis, angered over the police killing of Floyd, could be shot.
Trump accused the city’s leadership of failing to control the situation and threatened to send in the National Guard. In a followup tweet, he called demonstrators “thugs,” and adding “any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama shared parts of the conversations he has had over the past few days in the aftermath of Floyd’s killing.
In a message posted to Twitter, he spoke of the frustrations felt by the people he spoke with, who noted that incidents ranging from racial injustice to the coronavirus pandemic cannot be regarded as normal and that the country must commit to improving itself.
“It’s natural to wish for life “to just get back to normal” as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us,” Obama said in his statement. “But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly “normal” -- whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.”
The former president was referring to the incident involving Christian Cooper, a Black man who was threatened with calling the police by a white woman in New York’s Central Park when he asked her to leash her dog in a bird watching area.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated.