Prosecutors have warned there is ‘evidence that does not support criminal charges’ in the case of four cops accused of killing George Floyd, as they say police can use a ‘certain amount of force – but not excessive’.
Authorities dashed hopes that an arrest had been made over the death of the 46-year-old father of two when they called a press conference to announce a development in the investigation Thursday only to leave attendees waiting two hours before finally announcing they had no new developments to share.
‘We thought we would have another development to tell you about… but we don’t,’ admitted US Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica MacDonald.
The authorities refused to confirm what the ‘development’ would have been but it comes as calls continue to mount for white cop Derek Chauvin to be charged with murder after he knelt on the neck of the black man for eight minutes before he passed out and later died.
Protests entered their third day in Minneapolis as questions are mounting over why Chauvin continues to walk free.
Mike Freeman, county attorney for Hennepin County, and US Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica MacDonald dashed hopes that an arrest had been made over the death of the 46-year-old father of two in a press conference Thursday
Mike Freeman, county attorney for Hennepin County, pleaded for patience from the Minneapolis community ravaged by Floyd’s death at the press conference Thursday and insisted that the investigation ‘can’t be rushed’.
While he condemned the actions of the white cop as ‘horrific and terrible’, he said there was ‘other evidence that does not support a criminal charge’.
‘That video is graphic and horrific and terrible and no person should do that,’ he said.
‘But my job in the end is to prove he violated a criminal statute – but there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge.’
Freeman did not provide any detail over what the ‘other evidence’ could be that provides a defense for Chauvin’s actions but said his office now had to ‘wade through’ it before charges can be brought.
‘My business is ‘is it criminal?’ and that’s what we have to prove,’ he said.
Police officers are allowed to use reasonable force on citizens to restrain them during arrest but the force cannot be ‘excessive’.
Prosecutors must prove that this force was ‘excessive’ in order to bring criminal charges against Chauvin.
Outrage is building over how pinning Floyd down by his neck for a staggering eight minutes until he passed out could ever be considered ‘reasonable’.
Freeman said he understood that people want action swiftly but assured the public that ‘we just can’t rush this’.
He compared the case to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in Baltimore in 2015, where Gray fell into a coma and died of a spinal cord injury while in a police van.
Six Baltimore police officers were suspended with pay but all charges were dropped against them and no one was charged.
‘It was a rush to charge and a rush to justice and all those people were found not guilty,’ he said.
Freeman warned that history could repeat itself with the Floyd case if the investigation is rushed.
‘We have to do this right, we have to prove it in a court of law,’ he said.
‘We can’t rush justice as justice cant be rushed.’
Four Minneapolis officers involved in the arrest of George Floyd were fired Tuesday. They were named as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J Alexander Kueng.
Their termination came hours after a bystander’s video showed Derek Chauvin kneeling on the handcuffed man’s neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving.
Mayor Jacob Frey had announced the firings on Twitter, saying: ‘This is the right call.’
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said on Thursday he believes George Floyd would still be alive today if he had been a white man
Mayor Jacob Frey has called for the white officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck to be criminally charged on Wednesday. Derek Chauvin (pictured) was seen pinning him down in video footage that was widely shared on Tuesday
CCTV footage from a nearby restaurant shows part of the altercation between Floyd and the officers on the scene. A handcuffed Floyd sits on the ground as a police officer, who was not seen in the original viral video, speaks to him before picking him up and holding him against the wall
It comes as:
- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz activated the National Guard to the city Thursday
- State troopers were forced to intervene after protests and riots left Minneapolis in a state of widespread destruction by Thursday morning
- Cup Foods deli owner revealed an employee called the police after Floyd allegedly paid with a fake $20 bill
- The family, including Floyd’s brother Philonise, called for the four officers to be charged and now plan to have an independent autopsy performed
- Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey publicly called for white Officer Derek Chauvin to be criminally charged and said he would ‘still be alive if he were white’
- A Minneapolis man spoke out describing how Chauvin beat and shot him at close range during a domestic violence call in 2008
- The University of Minnesota cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department, including contracting officers to provide security at home football games
- New video footage cast doubt on claims Floyd resisted arrest, showing two cops forcibly removing him from his car and him complying with officers
- A break-off protest in the streets of downtown LA Wednesday night left one man injured after he fell from a moving police cruiser
- The second day of Minneapolis protests escalated into violence Wednesday as cops and protesters clashed
- Looters and rioters ransacked stores including Target, AutoZone and Walmart and set buildings on fire
- A looter was shot dead in Minneapolis Wednesday night and officers had arrested a man for homicide
Frey said he considers Floyd’s killing to be murder and had publicly called for Chauvin to face arrest.
‘I’m not a prosecutor, but let me be clear. The arresting officer killed someone,’ he told CBS Thursday. ‘He’d be alive today if he were white.’
‘The facts that I’ve seen, which are minimal, certainly lead me down the path that race was involved.’
The owner of the Minneapolis deli which served as a backdrop to Floyd’s death broke his silence Thursday and revealed that the 46-year-old father of two died after he tried to pay with a counterfeit $20 bill.
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, the co-owner of Cup Foods deli, broke his silence revealing one of his employees had called the police after Floyd allegedly handed them a bogus bill.
The store owner said a family member later witnessed Floyd being restrained outside and tried to intervene, asking the officer to take his knee off the man.
Floyd’s death has sparked outrage in Minneapolis, with state troopers forced to intervene after violent protests and riots broke out in the city and left one looter dead.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz activated the National Guard to the city Thursday as it braces for a third night of violence.
Shocking images Thursday morning showed the widespread destruction left overnight after Wednesday night’s protest escalated into violence as cops and protesters clashed and stores including Target, AutoZone and Walmart were ransacked and set on fire by looters.
A suspected looter was shot dead outside the Cadillac Pawn shop and the suspected shooter had been taken into custody Wednesday night.
Break-off protests demanding justice for Floyd’s death and calling for an end to police brutality against African-American communities have started springing up in Los Angeles and New York.