George Floyd death: Derek Chauvin should have been charged with first-degree murder, says ex-NYPD commissioner

Accused Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter following his arrest


                            George Floyd death: Derek Chauvin should have been charged with first-degree murder, says ex-NYPD commissioner
Derek Chauvin (Ramsey County Sheriff's Office)

Fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin should have been charged with first-degree murder — rather than the current third degree charge — in the killing of George Floyd, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik told Breitbart News on Friday.

Speaking to Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Ed Martin on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s 'Breitbart News Tonight', Kerik said he was "probably one of the first police chiefs or commissioners around the country that basically came out and said it’s wrong."

“It’s 100 percent wrong," he continued. "This guy was in handcuffs. He was faced down. He was not resisting. He was no threat to that cop or any other cop. It was clear that he couldn’t breathe. He was in distress. It was also clear to other people. You had four or five people around him that were yelling at the cop to get him up and get off of him because he can’t breathe.”

Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik enters the courthouse for a pre-trial hearing on October 20, 2009, in White Plains, New York. (Getty Images)

Kerik noted how bystanders repeatedly urged Chauvin to get off Floyd. “‘You’re gonna kill him,’ they said. The guy even said, ‘You’re trying to kill me.’ Well, guess what? At the end of the day, he did kill him, and you cannot say that the guy didn’t know what he was doing, because he had at least four or five people — other than the victim himself — telling him what he was doing," Kerik explained.

Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter following his arrest on Friday. “I was a bit shocked today when the DA said that they’re charging [Chauvin] with third-degree murder,” Kerik stated. “Given the look of this, in my eyes what was clear intent, I would have thought they would have charged him with first-degree murder.”

“The force used was completely unjustifiable," the former police commissioner remarked. "He knew without a shadow of a doubt that the guy was in distress, and he was causing it. He refused to stop even after he was told by numerous people to stop. It’s bad.”

Protesters confront police outside the 3rd Police Precinct on May 27, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Getty Images)

Kerik also highlighted how some of the officers at the scene had a violent history. “[Chauvin] had 18 prior civilian complaints,” he noted. “One of the officers that was with him had eight prior civilian complaints. I’m not sure how those things were investigated, who investigated them, [or] what kind of complaints they were. That number’s pretty high.”

“Given this guy’s conduct and given the way he acted, he was cold. He was nonchalant. He was just looking around, not a care in the world," Kerik concluded. "This arrogance, if you will. I don’t know. Somebody needs to take a look at those prior investigations [and] prior complaints.”

This comes shortly after reports that Chauvin has been put on suicide watch in his prison cell.

Sources at the Ramsey County Jail in St. Paul, Minnesota, told TMZ that Chauvin is being kept in isolation and being watched constantly. His movements in the cell are being monitored by a CCTV camera 24/7. He is also being checked in person by security guards every 15 minutes.