All four ex-cops in George Floyd death charged and officially in custody

Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane were involved in the ultimately deadly detainment of Floyd

Derek Chauvin George Floyd
Left to right: Former Minneapolis officers Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane. (Photo: Katie Couric/Instagram | Hennepin County Sheriff)

All four officers who were involved in the ultimately deadly detainment of George Floyd have been charged and taken into custody.

The mugshots of the four officers — Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane — hit the Internet on Wednesday evening, just hours after Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison increased charges against Chauvin to second-degree in Floyd’s murder and also charged the three other officers.

Ellison made the announcement during a press conference Wednesday. It was widely expected that Ellison would bring forth charges after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz appointed him to lead the prosecution.

Left to right: Former Minneapolis officers Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane. (Photo: Katie Couric/Instagram | Hennepin County Sheriff)

Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. However, the family of Floyd has maintained they wanted it upgraded to first-degree murder because there was intent in Chauvin’s actions as he did not remove his knee from Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes even as Floyd lost consciousness.

Thao, Kueng and Lane, who were fired from the MD police department alongside Chauvin, will be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

All four ex-cops face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, according to the criminal complaints.

Thao watched Chauvin continue to press his knee down on Floyd’s neck as Kueng helped pin the 46-year-old down. Lane pointed a gun at Floyd before he was handcuffed and later questioned if the restrained Floyd should be moved on his side.

The family responded to the expected charges in a statement.

READ MORE: Minneapolis police chief declares other officers ‘complicit’ in George Floyd death

Floyd died on Memorial Day after he was stopped by Minneapolis police led by now-former cop, Derek Chauvin. On the viral video, Chauvin is seen pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck as three other officers also applied pressure onto Floyd who laid on the ground.

Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The family of Floyd has wanted the charges upgraded to first-degree murder. They also demanded the arrest of the other officers on the scene whom they deemed as accomplices in the killing.

Benjamin Crump, the civil rights attorney representing the Floyd family, cited the bodycam video which showed an officer stating that Floyd did not have a pulse and wanted to turn him over. However, Chauvin refused and Crump argued that proved intent to harm the unarmed 46-year-old.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Corey Jones’ family, speaks to the media during a press conference to address the shooting of Mr. Jones on October 22, 2015 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Crump quoted Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo who said the officers involved were complicit by their silence. He spoke out at a rally just before charges were announced alongside Floyd’s son, Quincy Mason, who thanked the crowd for their support.

“No man or woman should be without their father. We want justice for what’s going on right now. I appreciate everyone’s support and love I thank you for that,” Quincy said.

Crump proceeded to go over Floyd’s last moments.

“George Floyd begged for air, he called out for Quincy’s grandmother, he called out to anybody who was listening it seemed like the lay people on the street were listening, but the people who weren’t listening were the police who were there to protect and serve,” Crump said.

“Also not just the police but the system needed to listen to George Floyd, the prosecutors, the system, the legislature the president, America because when he couldn’t breathe none of us could breathe. This is a tipping point for America.”

Crump soon declared “the world is watching,” which turned into a chant for the crowd. The attorney asked people to take a breath for Floyd against the backdrop of the ongoing protests. He also named others who have died due to police brutalities such as Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, and a breath collectively for those who were unjustifiable.

READ MORE: Minnesota governor announces AG Ellison as lead on George Floyd case

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner in Minneapolis determined that George Floyd’s manner of death was “homicide” but that he also had a heart attack and an opioid in his system. The official cause of death is stated as a “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.” Homicide is listed as well since there were external factors that contributed to his death.

However, an independent autopsy was requested by the family and those findings differed from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.  Dr. Michael Baden listed the cause of his death as “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.” Baden did not find any underlying health issues.

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