Derek Chauvin did not take knee off George Floyd's neck even when fellow cop insisted: 'No, staying put where we got him'
New court documents have revealed that Derek Chauvin refused fellow officer’s suggestion to roll George Floyd to his side and stop kneeling on his neck. Floyd, an African-American man, died on May 25 after Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck for over eight minutes. The former police officer was initially charged with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder charges; later he was charged with second degree murder, with the initial charges remaining on his chargesheet.
The documents have stated that when another officer suggested rolling Floyd to his side, Chauvin allegedly told him, “No, staying put where we got him.” While a report by CNN said that when one of the officers at the scene checked Floyd’s pulse and allegedly told Chauvin he could not find one, the former police officer did not bother and continued to keep his knee pressed on the victim’s neck. The death of Floyd has sparked nationwide protests in the US with people coming out on the streets daily despite the coronavirus pandemic. Several celebrities have also joined the demonstrators while many have donated funds to post bail for detained protesters.
According to reports, two officers initially approached the 46-year-old Floyd on the evening of May 25 after getting a report that someone had tried to make a purchase at a store with a fake $20 bill. At the time, Floyd was getting into a car. The officers asked him to get out of the car and put him under arrest but he “stiffened up” and “fell to the ground”. The officers then reportedly told other officers in the squad car that Floyd was claustrophobic and did not want to get into the police car.
Other officers including Chauvin then approached the victim and tried to get him into the police vehicle, but Floyd “struggled with the officers by intentionally falling down”, the criminal complaint stated. The report further mentioned that Chauvin then pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck that left the victim pleading: “I can’t breathe” and “please.” But the former cop did not stop and continued to press his neck even after Floyd had stopped speaking or moving.
Following the tragic death of Floyd, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder, but the victim’s family sought stronger charges. “We think that [Chauvin] had intent, based on not the one minute, two minutes, but over eight minutes, almost nine minutes he kept his knee in a man’s neck that was begging and pleading for breath. At what point does it not be about detaining a man who is face-down with handcuffs, not posing any threat, to an intentional will to cause bodily harm? And if that results in death, every prosecutor in America will show that that is first-degree murder,” Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Floyd’s family said on CBS' ‘Face the Nation’ on Sunday, May 31.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the other three officers who were involved in the Floyd case have been taken into custody. Tou Thao, Thomas Kiernan Lane, and J Alexander Kueng are facing charges of aiding and abetting murder, as well as aiding and abetting manslaughter. They are all being held on an unconditional bail of $1M compounded with $750,000 of conditional bail. If convicted of their charges, they will face up to 40 years in jail.