A judge upheld the second-degree murder and manslaughter charges Thursday against former officer Derek Chauvin in connection with the George Floyd case.
Hennepin County Judge Peter A. Cahill also dropped a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, granting some of the defense’s motion.
Cahill also refused to dismiss charges against the other officers present while Chauvin was captured on video kneeling onto Floyd’s neck, while Floyd was handcuffed, for nine minutes until he died.
Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao, and Thomas Lane were also charged with aiding and abetting in connection to the incident, which sparked a movement protesting racial injustice.
In his ruling, Cahill found probable cause exists for Minnesota to prove the charges against the other three officers and Chauvin’s more serious charges, according to a memo.
Cahill, however, agreed with Chauvin’s defense’s attempt to drop the third-degree murder charge because while Chauvin’s actions were dangerous and reckless, they did not harm anyone other than Floyd.
Democrat Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz posted on Twitter saying the judge’s decision to uphold the remaining charges against the officers in connection with Floyd’s death was “an important step towards justice for George Floyd.”
BREAKING: Judge upholds murder charges against Derek Chauvin and other officers. Important step toward justice for George Floyd.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) October 22, 2020
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office is working on the prosecution for the case, called the ruling “an important, positive step forward in the path toward justice for George Floyd, his family, our community, and Minnesota.”