George Floyd case: Second-degree murder, manslaughter charges upheld against Derek Chauvin

Former federal prosecutor says there’s a ‘strong case’ against fired officer Derek Chauvin

Former federal prosecutor Doug Burns shares expectations on how the trial will proceed.

A judge upheld the second-degree murder and manslaughter charges Thursday against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in connection to the death of George Floyd in May.

Hennepin County Judge Peter A. Cahill granted part of the defense’s motion and dropped the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin. 

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Cahill also denied motions to dismiss the charges against the other three officers present when Chauvin was captured on video pressing his knee onto a handcuffed Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes before his death in custody. Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane remain charged with aiding and abetting related to the incident that sparked a nationwide reckoning on racial injustice.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, reacted to the decision on Twitter, saying the judge’s move to uphold the remaining charges against Chauvin, as well as the charges against the other officers, was an “Important step toward justice for George Floyd.”

Eric Nelson, the defense attorney representing Chauvin, declined to comment to Fox News. 

Prosecutors argued there was probable cause for the officers to go to trial on all of the charges, saying Chauvin intentionally assaulted Floyd, which is an element of the second-degree murder charge, and that the other officers assisted. Defense attorneys had argued that there was not enough probable cause to charge the former officers. Chauvin's attorney argued his client had no intent to assault or kill Floyd, while attorneys for the other officers argued that their clients did not intend or conspire to help Chauvin.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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