Jury selection is currently underway for Derek Chauvin’s trial in Minneapolis, but a judge has made a ruling on the charges the ex-cop will face.
According to CNN, a Hennepin County judge added an additional count of third-degree murder. Chauvin has already been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter for the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the first Black AG in the state, said in a statement, "The charge of 3rd-degree murder, in addition to manslaughter and felony murder, reflects the gravity of the allegations against Mr. Chauvin. We look forward to presenting all three charges to the jury."
Attorneys for the Floyd family, Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, said in a statement they were "gratified" the judge included a third-degree murder charge.
They also added, "The trial is very painful and the family needs closure. We're pleased that all judicial avenues are being explored and that the trial will move forward.”
Chauvin was previously facing second-degree murder and manslaughter. The three other officers involved in Floyd’s death — Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng — will be tried later this summer. They face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
All parties have pleaded not guilty.
BET has been covering every angle of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.
Minnesota Correctional Facility