Posted June 29, 2020 9:29 pm by

Ex-officers charged in George Floyd killing due in court

The four former Minneapolis police officers charged over the death of George Floyd, L to R: Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane © Hennepin County Jail/AFP/File / Handout

Minneapolis, United States, Jun 29 – The former police officer charged with killing George Floyd and three others accused of abetting the African American’s murder were to appear in court Monday, in a case that has touched off a global reckoning over racial inequality.

Derek Chauvin, the 44-year-old white officer who was filmed pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck, was scheduled to be the first to appear at 1715 GMT by videolink from the high security prison where he is being held.

Chauvin, whose bail has been set at a million dollars, is charged with second degree murder for the death of 46-year-old Floyd, who was unarmed and handcuffed as Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes.

Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and will appear in person in court.

The first two were released on a bail of $750,000.

The four former police officers, who face up to 40 years behind bars, will have the chance to plead guilty or not guilty at the hearing.

The court could also rule on whether they will stand trial separately or together.

The four men detained Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis on suspicion of trying to use a fake $20 bill in a store.

Ex-officers charged in George Floyd killing due in court

Police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, on May 25 2020 © Facebook/Darnella Frazier/AFP/File / Darnella Frazier

“I can’t breathe,” Floyd said on several occasions before losing consciousness.

Chauvin ignored bystanders who begged him to remove his knee, while one of them filmed the incident on a cell phone. The footage went viral, triggering the largest wave of protests demanding racial equality and police reform in decades.

– Police reforms –

Anger exploded in the streets of major cities across the United States as the justice system was seen as slow to react to the killing.

The police department sacked the four officers but the Minneapolis attorney general’s office waited four days before charging Chauvin with manslaughter, and did not initially charge his three colleagues.

Ex-officers charged in George Floyd killing due in court

A memorial to George Floyd, painted on a wall in Minneapolis © AFP / Kerem Yucel

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