Derek Chauvin must face first-degree murder charges for ignoring 'no pulse' warning from fellow cops: Lawyer

Lawyer Benjamin Crump pointed out that Chauvin did not stop kneeling on Floyd's neck even after many at the scene raised their concerns and that second-degree murder was not enough

                            Derek Chauvin must face first-degree murder charges for ignoring 'no pulse' warning from fellow cops: Lawyer
Derek Chauvin (Ramsey County Sheriff's Office)

The lawyer for the family of George Floyd, the 46-year-old truck driver whose death on Memorial Day has sparked national and international protests, has called for prosecutors to upgrade Derek Chauvin's charges to first-degree murder.

Floyd's disturbing death has been watched hundreds of millions of times since footage of it was first posted on social media by Darnella Frazier. In the video, Chauvin could be seen kneeling on the 46-year-old's neck for close to nine minutes even as he gasped, "I can't breathe" and called for his mother.

Following widespread outrage, Chauvin, as well as the three other officers with him at the scene -- Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, were arrested and charged. Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder before prosecutors upgraded that charge to second-degree murder last week. However, Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for Floyd's family, insisted that it still wasn't enough and that Chauvin should be charged with first-degree murder because he did not stop kneeling even when his fellow officers noted the victim's struggle and asked him to stop.

Attorney Ben Crump speaks during a press conference at the site where George Floyd was killed on June 3, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Crump was called for the arrest and prosecution of all four officers involved in George Floyd's death (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Speaking to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on 'Good Morning Britain,' Crump said, "When you look at the facts of this case you have the police bodycam audio and you hear one of the officers say, 'He doesn't have a pulse maybe we should turn him over on his side.'"

Officer Derek Chauvin says, 'No, we're going to keep him in this position' and continues to keep his knee on his neck for not minute, not two minutes, not three minutes, not four minutes, not five minutes, not six minutes, not seven minutes, not eight minutes but nine minutes while George Floyd begged for air. And they refused to offer him any humanity. That's why we believe it should be first-degree murder because he was tortured to death."

MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) had previously reported on new court documents that had revealed Chauvin had refused to follow the other officers' suggestion to roll Floyd over to his side and stop kneeling on his neck. The documents stated that, when another officer made the suggestion, Chauvin told him, "No, staying put where we got him." One of the officers is then said to have checked for a pulse and, after not finding one, informed Chauvin, only for him to be ignored again.  

Protesters confront police outside the 3rd Police Precinct on May 27, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired after a video taken by a bystander was posted on social media showing 46-year-old George Floyd's neck being pinned to the ground by an officer as he repeatedly said, "I can’t breathe". Floyd was later pronounced dead while in police custody after being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Crump is not the only one to have called for Chauvin's charges to be upgraded. Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik told Breitbart that Chauvin should have been charged with first-degree murder. "It’s 100 percent wrong," he said. "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."

Kerik also 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,"

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