A Minnesota judge on Thursday dropped third-degree murder charges against Derek Chauvin, the former police officer accused of killing George Floyd in May.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill also ruled that the case against the other three former Minneapolis police officers — Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and 34-year-old Tou Thao — will not be dropped.
Chavin, 44, is still facing second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death. Lane, Kueng, and Thao are charged with aiding or abetting second-degree murder.
The Star Tribune reported that Cahill is also expected to rule on whether the four defendants will stand trial together or separately. That decision has not been filed as of Thursday.
On May 25, Minneapolis police officers were filmed arresting Floyd, 46, on suspicion that he used a counterfeit bill at the Cup Foods supermarket.
After police pulled Floyd out of his car and handcuffed him, Chauvin forced his knee into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes. Floyd gasped for air and said he could not breathe before he lost consciousness and died.
While Hennepin County’s autopsy report stated that there was no evidence “to support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” an independent autopsy asserted that sustained forceful pressure on Floyd’s neck and back led to his death.
All four officers were fired in light of Floyd’s death.
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[Featured image: Derek Chauvin/Hennepin County jail; George Floyd/Facebook]