A judge has dismissed the third degree murder charge against white cop Derek Chauvin over the killing of black man George Floyd after he knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
The former Minneapolis police officer, 44, still faces other charges including the more serious charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill announced the ruling Thursday morning.
Cahill also denied motions to dismiss the charges of aiding and abetting against the three other fired officers charged in connection with Floyd’s death.
Hennepin County Government Center was seen being boarded up ahead of the judge’s ruling as authorities braced for further protests from people demanding justice for Floyd.
A judge has dismissed the third degree murder charge against white cop Derek Chauvin (left) over the killing of black man George Floyd (right) after he knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes
The dismissal of Chauvin’s third-degree murder charge will stay for five days to allow the state time to appeal the decision.
Cahill ruled that ‘probable cause does not exist’ for the third-degree murder charge against the officer, according to court documents.
Under Minnesota law, a person is guilty of third-degree murder if ‘without intent to effect the death of any person, [the defendant] causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life’.
The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.
Cahill said the state did not satisfy the following three requirements for the charges to stand against Chauvin: proof of Floyd’s death, proof that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death, and proof that Chauvin’s intentional conduct that caused Floyd’s death was ’eminently dangerous to other persons’ and done with a disregard for human life.
However Cahill denied a request to dismiss the disgraced former cop’s more serious second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
The lawyers for Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng had also sought a dismissal of aiding and abetting charges against the three cops arguing a lack of probable cause for the charges.
This argument was dismissed by the judge in all three cases.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day as he was arrested by four police officers over allegedly trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. He was seen in a video pleading that he couldn’t breathe as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck
The bombshell decision comes after the same judge ruled earlier this month that Chauvin was allowed to leave Minnesota while on bail as he awaits trial for Floyd’s murder.
Chauvin was released from a maximum security prison after posting $1million bond, sparking renewed outrage and protests demanding justice for Floyd.
The cop was arrested in May after footage surfaced online of Floyd’s Memorial Day ‘murder’ in the streets of Minneapolis.
Source: Daily Mail