Moscow, June 4, 2020
The lead attorney for George Floyd’s family, Benjamin Crump, has said that the family is relieved to see new charges against police officers involved in the case, but believes that they should have been arrested earlier.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has announced that charges against Derek Chauvin, a police officer involved in the fatal arrest, have been upgraded to second-degree murder, and that new charges have been filed against three other officers involved.
“Well, they (Floyd family) are relieved … But we all believe that the officers should have been arrested on the first day after they offered no humanity to a man who was … in handcuffs, and held the knee on his neck, kept two knees on his back that our autopsy found could press his lungs,” Crump told MSNBC broadcaster.
One of the witnesses, who was on the scene compared Floyd to a “fish out of water”, Crump recalled.
“It was right to charge all of these officers … for disobeying their oath,” the attorney said, condemning police brutality.
The new second-degree murder charge alleges that there was an intent to kill, which could be punished by 40 years in prison.
Commenting on this, Crump said that he and Floyd’s family believed that all the officers involved should respond to “the full extent of the law, whatever that is.”
“They treated him less than an animal. They should stay in prison for the rest of their lives,” Crump said.
The attorney stressed that he had confidence in Ellison, even though “it is difficult to convict white police officers for killing black people in America.”
On May 25, Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, while the African American man was lying handcuffed face down on the street.
While lying pressed to the ground, the man repeated complained that he could not breathe.
Since then, the U.S. has been rocked by violent protests against police brutality and racism.