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Three other police officers will also face charges following the death of George Floyd, it has been confirmed.
On Monday 25 May, police officer Derek Chauvin applied pressure with his leg to Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. He was later charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd's death, although it has now been confirmed that the charges will be elevated to
During that time, Floyd could be heard to tell Chauvin and three other officers that he couldn't breathe.
Officers Tou Thao, J.A. Kueng, and Thomas Lane were also at the scene in Minneapolis.
Floyd's death has sparked protests around the world, but particularly in the United States where violence has broken out between police and protesters, leading US President Donald Trump to call in assistance from the military and the National Guard in some cases.
It also speaks to a wider concern regarding systematic discrimination and police brutality that is felt by many members of minority communities - and beyond - in the United States.
This Wednesday afternoon, Minnesota's Senator Amy Klobuchar tweeted that the three other police officers would be charged, although she did not reveal what those charges would be.
She also said that Chauvin's charge had been elevated to second degree murder, which alleges that he killed Floyd intentionally, but without premeditation.
This means that the maximum possible sentence for Chauvin has increased from 25 to 40 years.
If convicted, the three charged with aiding and abetting also face a potential maximum sentence of 40 years.
After Klobuchar's tweet, the Floyd family's lawyer Benjamin Crump tweeted: "This is a bittersweet moment.
"We are deeply gratified that AGEllison took decisive action, arresting & charging ALL the officers involved in #GeorgeFloyd 's death & upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder. #JusticeForGeorge."
Derek Chauvin was initially fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter four days after Floyd's death.
The three other officers were also dismissed from their posts.
An independent autopsy revealed that Floyd had died from 'asphyxiation from sustained pressure'.
Dr Michael Baden, who performed the independent autopsy, said: "What we found is consistent with what people saw.
"There is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death. Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That's not true."
However, the results of the preliminary medical exam in the criminal complaint against Chauvin found 'no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation' and added that 'underlying health conditions ... likely contributed to his death'.
Floyd's death was officially ruled as a homicide on Monday by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
Their report found that Mr Floyd was killed as a result of 'cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression'.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: World News
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