Judge Dismisses Third-Degree Murder Charge Against Ex-Officer Derek Chauvin
A Minnesota judge has dropped a third-degree murder charge against former police officer Derek Chavin in the death of George Floyd earlier this year.
Chauvin still faces second-degree murder charges and second-degree manslaughter charges in Floyd’s death. A video uploaded on May 25 showed Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck and back before his death, which sparked months of protests, riots, and violence across the United States.
The motion to dismiss “charges of unintentional second-degree murder … and second-degree manslaughter … are DENIED,” wrote Cahill, adding that “the motion to dismiss the charge of third-degree murder is GRANTED and that charge is dismissed.”
Chauvin was released on a $1 million bond earlier in October.
BREAKING: Judge upholds murder charges against Derek Chauvin and other officers. Important step toward justice for George Floyd.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) October 22, 2020
Three other former Minneapolis officers were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. On Thursday, Cahill also denied motions to dismiss the charges against Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane.
Chauvin can face up to 40 years in prison if he is convicted of second-degree murder.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, wrote that Cahill’s move to uphold the charges against the three officers and uphold the second-degree murder charges against Chauvin is an “important step toward justice for George Floyd.”
The move to dismiss the third-degree murder charge will likely draw protests. Earlier this month, police arrested more than 50 people who demonstrated after Chauvin was released on bail.
Thursday’s move to dismiss the charges drew condemnation from far-left activists on Twitter.
At the time, Walz mobilized the National Guard and state law enforcement to quell potential unrest.
Chauvin’s attorney and attorneys for the other former officers have argued that Floyd had contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, and also had a high level of fentanyl in his system. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office, days after Floyd’s death, confirmed (pdf) fentanyl intoxication contributed to Floyd’s death.
His cause of death was listed as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” while his manner of death was listed by the office as “homicide.”
In August, Earl Gray, the attorney for former officer Lane, filed a motion in court that alleged Floyd contributed to his own death by consuming a lethal dose of fentanyl, Fox9 in Minneapolis reported.