Fri, 10 Jul 2020

What Do Murder, Manslaughter Charges in Floyd Case Mean

Voice of America
31 May 2020, 10:05 GMT+10

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was charged in the death of George Floyd, four days after the May 25 incident occurred and after several nights of violent protests in the Midwestern city.

On Friday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman charged Chauvin, 44, with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin is accused of kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

Here is a definition of those charges:

Third-degree murder: According to the Minnesota statute, whoever causes the death of a person "by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree."

Someone found guilty faces a prison sentence of no more than 25 years or a fine of no more than $40,000, or both.

Second-degree manslaughter: According to the Minnesota statute, someone who "creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another," is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree.

Someone found guilty may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 10 years or required to pay a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.

Hennepin prosecutor Freeman said Friday that it was likely that charges would be filed against three other officers accused of involvement in Floyd's death, but he declined to discuss what those charges might be.

The three other officers, who were present at the scene of Floyd's death, are: Tou Thao, 34, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Thomas K. Lane, 37. All three were fired along with Chauvin from the Minneapolis Police Department on Tuesday.

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