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George Floyd demise: US police officer charged with homicide of black guy as protests rage | US Information

A US police officer has been charged with the murder of George Floyd following widespread protests over his death.

George Floyd died in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck for at least eight minutes during his arrest for allegedly using a fake $20 note in a shop.

Chauvin, who was sacked following Mr Floyd’s death, has now been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, prosecutors said.

The police officer who carried out the arrest has been put on administrative leave
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Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter

A statement issued by Mr Floyd’s family said Chauvin’s arrest was a “welcome but overdue step” and called for the other three officers involved in the incident to be detained.

“For four officers to inflict this kind of unnecessary, lethal force – or watch it happen – despite outcry from witnesses who were recording the violence – demonstrates a breakdown in training and policy by the city,” the family said.

“The pain that the black community feels over this murder and what it reflects about the treatment of black people in America is raw and is spilling out onto streets across America.”

In video footage of Mr Floyd’s arrest, the 46-year-old can be heard saying he could not breathe, before paramedics are seen lifting him on to a stretcher and into an ambulance.

He was later pronounced dead in hospital.

George Floyd. Pic: Shutterstock
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George Floyd’s family welcomed the arrest. Pic: Shutterstock

The charges brought against Chauvin come after three days of protests that have spread throughout the US, with chaotic scenes in Minneapolis – including the arrest of a CNN crew covering the demonstrations.

Former US president Barack Obama has called for a “new normal” in the treatment of black people in the wake of Mr Floyd’s death.



Minneapolis fires during protests



Protests spread over death in police custody
Target stores have been targeted during the protests in Minneapolis
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Cars have been targeted during the protests in Minneapolis

In a post on Twitter, he said for millions of Americans “being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal'”.

Mr Obama added: “This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.”

US President Donald Trump – who says he has spoken to Mr Floyd’s family – threatened to bring Minneapolis “under control”, calling the protesters “thugs” and tweeting that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.

The tweet drew another warning from Twitter, which said the comment violated the platform’s rules, but the company did not remove it.

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Mr Trump also blasted the “total lack of leadership” in Minneapolis.

But the president said nothing to try to dampen the protests when he staged a news conference on Friday evening, focusing solely on his dispute with China.

Earlier, the Minnesota State Patrol arrested a CNN television crew as it reported on the unrest.

While live on air, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was handcuffed and led away. A producer and a photojournalist for CNN were also taken away in handcuffs.



CNN's Omar Jimenez is arrested by Minnesota State Patrol officers. Pic: CNN



Reporter arrested live on air

CNN said the crew was arrested “for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights”.

A statement issued by Minnesota State Patrol said three members of a CNN crew had been arrested “in the course of clearing the streets and restoring order”, adding: “The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”

But a CNN statement said: “This is not accurate – our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists.”

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