The other three former Minneapolis police officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder in the death of George Floyd and an additional charge of second-degree murder was brought against the officer who already was charged, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced in a joint news conference Wednesday.
J Alexander Kueng, 26, of Plymouth, Thomas Lane, 37, of St. Paul and Tou Thao, 34, of Coon Rapids were each charged with one count each of aiding and abetting unintentional second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the May 25 death of George Floyd.
In addition, Derek Chauvin, 44, of Oakdale, who was charged by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman last week with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, was charged with an additional count of second-degree unintentional murder while committing a felony, which was the assault on Mr. Floyd.
In announcing the charges, Attorney General Ellison said that when he took over the case two days ago, he asked people for time while he reviewed the evidence. The investigation has been continuing and will continue, but with all of the evidence that’s available now, these charges can be brought, he said.
“I believe that evidence available to us now supports the stronger charge of second-degree murder,” Ellison said. “We’ve consulted with each other and we agree.”
He also said that in consultation with Freeman and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, they agreed that they could file the aiding and abetting murder charges against the other three officers.
“I strongly believe that these developments are in the interest of justice for Mr. Floyd, his family, our community and our state,” Attorney General Ellison said. “We’re working together on this case with only one goal: justice for George Floyd. I want to thank, first, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who has been a true partner in this matter at every step of the way. His experience and insight have been invaluable and will continue to be counted on by the team.”
The charges against Thao, Kueng and Lane were issued as warrants and officials expected they would be arrested by later in the day Wednesday.
Read the filed Criminal Complaints (PDF) for: