A judge in Hennepin County, Minnesota, upheld charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on Thursday, as well as charges against the other three officers who were present for the death of George Floyd in May.
Judge Peter A. Cahill did grant the defense's motion to drop a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin. Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao all face charges of aiding and abetting.
Chauvin's attorney argued the officer had no intent to assault or kill Floyd.
Video footage of Floyd's death shows Chauvin shoving his knee into the back of Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd's face was pressed to the ground and Floyd went unconscious during the incident. Chauvin continued to press his knee on Floyd's neck even when the man was unconscious. One other officer was on "bystander watch" during the incident, and Keung and Lane held Floyd's legs and back to the ground.
The video shows Floyd pleading for his life, saying he could not breathe and that the officers were killing him. Bystanders repeatedly told police that Floyd had stopped breathing, but the officers maintained their hold on him.