Developing Story: Death Of George Floyd

Timeline:

The following is a basic timeline of the events. This is a quickly developing story. We have attempted to link to supporting articles and videos to help you navigate the facts.

Monday May 25th:

  • A Minneapolis convenience store called police, accusing 46-year-old Floyd of using a counterfeit $20 bill.
  • Police responded and arrested Floyd, who sat in a nearby car with two other people.
  • Police reported they ordered the suspect out of the vehicle and the suspect physically resisted officers. Here’s a partial video of what happened prior to the police handcuffing Floyd.
  • After police handcuffed Floyd, they walked him across the street and out of camera view.
  • A bystander recorded what happened later during the arrest. Floyd is on the ground, face down, handcuffed with a Police Officer Derek Chauvin, holding his knee on Floyd’s neck.
  • Floyd repeatedly says, “Please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man.”
  • Bystanders pleaded with police to stop kneeling on Floyd’s neck.
  • The officer did not remove his knee.
  • Floyd appeared to have fallen unconscious.
  • Here is the (graphic) video: CLICK HERE
  • Floyd was later loaded into an ambulance and declared dead at a local hospital.
  • Police statements after the incident suggest Floyd was in need of medical attention. The police has department reportedly updated the statement, citing new information.

Tuesday May 26th:

  • Floyd family retained lawyer, Benjamin Crump (who also represents the family of Ahmaud Arbery).
  • Minneapolis Police Dept. fired the 4 officers involved in arrest and asked the FBI to investigate.
  • The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis said the officers are cooperating in the investigation.
  • Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning: protesters marched to a police precinct, some damage to property was reported; police met the demonstrations with tear gas.

Wednesday May 27th:

  • Minneapolis Mayor asked law enforcement to look into Officer Chauvin being criminally charged with the murder of Floyd: “I’ve wrestled with, more than anything else over the last 36 hours, one fundamental question: Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?”
  • Pres. Trump asked the Dept of Justice to investigate the case.
  • Protests led to one death, and more damage overnight in Minneapolis, including more than 30 fires. Police spokesman referenced the uptick in damage and violence, saying “Tonight was a different night of protesting than it was just the night before.”
  • Here’s video of what happened Wednesday night: click here
  • Other protests surfaced in major U.S. cities like Los Angeles, and Memphis.

Thursday May 28th:

  • Rev. Jesse Jackson held a meeting with faith, community leaders.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota national guard to aid public safety.
  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued a local emergency declaration due to the aftermath of Floyd’s death, requesting help from the state and federal government.
  • The DOJ & FBI announced they are conduct criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Floyd to determine whether the actions by the involved former Minneapolis police officers violated federal law.
  • Protests planned for Thursday evening.
  • Minneapolis Police Department released a transcript from the 911 call, during which the convenience store employee told police “Um someone comes our store and give us fake bills and we realize it before he left the store, and we ran back outside, they was sitting on their car. We tell them to give us their phone, put their (inaudible) thing back and everything and he was also drunk and everything and return to give us our cigarettes back and so he can, so he can go home but he doesn’t want to do that, and he’s sitting on his car cause he is awfully drunk and he’s not in control of himself.” Later the officer asked if the person was under the influence, and the caller said “Something like that, yes. He is not acting right.
    • Read the transcript HERE.

Friday May 29th:

**Some are calling the crowds gathering in Minnesota after George Floyd arrest “protesters”, others call them “rioters.”

  • Overnight a fire, set by the nighttime crowds, burned the Minneapolis police precinct nearest to Floyd’s arrest; the Mayor said he ordered the evacuation of the precinct as threats neared.
  • Crowds gathered in other major U.S. cities including New York City, and Denver.
  • Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was shown in the video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, was charged third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.  Freeman said the investigation is ongoing, but that the decision to charge was based on various evidence, including bystander videos, witness statements, a preliminary report from the medical examiner, and video from police body-worn cameras. Freeman said he anticipates charges for the other three officers, but would not comment further.

Sunday May 31

  • In response to ongoing protests, the National Guard was activated in at least 15 states and Washington, DC, and over 40 cities imposed curfews.
  • Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that he has asked Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to assist in the cases arising out of the death of George Floyd.

Monday June 1

  • The Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled Floyd’s death a homicide, writing that George Floyd “experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).” The report also notes “other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”
  • A private autopsy commissioned by the family performed by a team inducing renowned medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden found that cause of George Floyd’s death was “asphyxia due to compression of the neck, which … can interfere with blood flow and oxygen going to brain, and compression of the back, which interferes with breathing.” “The autopsy shows that Floyd has no underlying medical problem that caused  or contributed to his death… He was in good health.” Baden said.

Tuesday June 2

  • Gov. Tim Walz announced the Minnesota Department of Human Rights will launch an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department after filing a civil rights charge related to the death of Floyd. The  investigation will  examine the department’s policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years to determine if they engaged in systemic discriminatory practices.

Wednesday June 3

  •  Minnesota Attorney Gene ral Keith Ellison and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced charges against the remaining three officers (J. Kueng, Thomas Lane,and Tou Thao) were each charged with aiding and abetting 2nd Degree Murder while committing a felony, and with aiding and abetting 2nd Degree Manslaughter with culpable negligence. Also, Derek Chauvin was charged with a third crime, 2nd Degree Murder.

Thursday June 4

  • A judge set the bail for Kueng, Lane and Thao at $750K each and scheduled their next court dates for June 29. As of June 8, they remain in the Hennepin County jail.

Monday June 8

  • A judge set the bail for Chauvin at $1M and scheduled his next court date for June 29. Chauvin is being held at a maximum security state prison.

Wednesday June 17

  • Prosecutors announced Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 7 minutes, 46 seconds – not 8 minutes, 46 seconds, as originally reported.  In a statement, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office said the “one minute error made no difference in the decision to charge nor in the continuing legal hearings.”

Monday June 29

  • A trial date was tentatively set for March 8th.

July – August

  • All four officers filed motions to dismiss the charges against them and / or change of venue.
  • The prosecution filed a motion to have the case against the four officers merged into a single trial.

September

  • Judge disqualified Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and three other prosecutors in his office from the case over a private meeting they had with the medical examiner, saying it makes them witnesses.

October

  • The trial judge granted the defense’s motion (citing a lack of probable cause) to dismiss the 3rd Degree Murder charge against Chauvin, but upheld the remaining 2nd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter charges.

2021

March

  • March 5: The Minnesota Court of Appeals ordered the trial judge to reconsider re-adding the 3rd murder charge in light of a February decision upholding a 3rd degree murder conviction in a separate and unrelated case.
  • March 8: Jury selection was placed on hold as both side await decisions from higher courts involving the 3rd murder charge.
  • March 9: Jury selection began.
  • March 10: The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the trial judge improperly denied the prosecution’s February motion to reinstate the 3rd degree murder charge.
  • March 11: The trial judge reinstated the 3rd degree murder charge against Chauvin.
  • March 12: The Minneapolis City Council agreed to settle the wrongful  death lawsuit filed against the City of by the Floyd family and pay $27 million to the family.
  • March 15: The defense team asked the judge to delay the trial and reconsider a motion for a change of venue, arguing that the announcement about the wrongful death lawsuit settlement could potentially taint the jury pool.
  • March 19: The trial judge denied the defense’s request to delay the trial or change the venue.
  • March 29: The trial began
  • April 20: After deliberating for about 11 hours, the jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts (2nd degree murder, 3rd degree murder & 2nd degree manslaughter).
    • The charges Chauvin was convicted of are punishable as follows: 2nd degree murder (up to 40 years), 3rd degree murder (up to 25 years) & 2nd degree manslaughter (up to 10 years),  however, state under sentencing guidelines, defendants like Chauvin who have no criminal record are usually sentenced to 12.5 years for 2nd or 3rd degree murder, and 4 years for 2nd degree manslaughter. Also, in Minnesota, typically defendants are only sentenced for the most serious charge they’re convicted when the charges stem from the same incident.
    • He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25th.

The Charges

  • Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the following charges:
    1. 2nd Degree Murder: Causing Floyd’s death without the intent to kill Floyd, by committing a felony (namely assault in the third degree). The charge carries up to 40 years in prison.
    2. 3rd Degree Murder – Causing the death of Floyd without the intent to kill Floyd, by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life. The charge carries up to 25 years in prison.
    3. 2nd Degree Manslaughter – Causing the death of Floyd due to his culpable negligence, which created an unreasonable risk and caused death or great bodily harm to Floyd. The charge carries up to 10 years in prison.
  • Former Minneapolis police officers J Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Kiernan Lane were each charged with the following:
    1. Aiding & Abetting 2nd Degree Murder – Causing the death of Floyd without the intent to kill Floyd by intentionally aiding another to cause the death of Floyd while committing a felony (namely assault in the third degree), which resulted in Floyd’s death.
      • The charge carries up to 40 years in prison.
    2. Aiding & Abetting 2nd Degree Manslaughter – Intentionally aiding another to come a crime that caused Floyd’s death as a result of culpable negligence (because he created an unreasonable risk and consciously took the chance of great bodily harm or death of Floyd).
      • The charge carries up to 10 years in prison.