In this Monday, May 25, 2020, frame from video provided by Darnella Frazier, a Minneapolis officer kneels on the neck of a handcuffed man who was pleading that he could not breathe in Minneapolis. Four Minneapolis officers involved in the arrest of a George Floyd who died in police custody were fired Tuesday.
Darnella Frazier | AP
Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on George Floyd’s neck before he died on Monday, has been arrested, local authorities said.
Chauvin was among the four officers involved in Floyd’s violent arrest that has since spurred days of protests in Minnesota’s largest city. Chauvin is white and Floyd was black.
Floyd died after being arrested on the suspicion that he attempted to use a counterfeit bill. His arrest, which was caught on tape by onlookers, shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than seven minutes as Floyd cries out that he cannot breathe.
It was not immediately clear whether Chauvin had been charged with a crime. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman was scheduled to deliver news of a “major development” related to Floyd’s death later Friday afternoon.
Floyd’s death has prompted calls from local and national figures for Chauvin’s prosecution, and a federal investigation led by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“The Department of Justice has made the investigation a top priority and has assigned experienced prosecutors and FBI criminal investigators to the matter,” the agencies said in a joint statement Thursday.
President Donald Trump, who has in the past told officers not to worry about injuring those they arrest, has shown sympathy for Floyd’s case.
“Justice will be served,” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.
But the president has also gone after those involved in the Minneapolis riots that have shaken the city in recent days. Among the buildings that have been destroyed was the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct, which was set on fire overnight Thursday.
“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter in the early hours of Friday morning. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
Joe Biden, the apparent Democratic presidential nominee, has also weighed in. During a livestream on Friday afternoon, Biden thanked Floyd’s family for speaking with him, and pledged: “I promise you, we’ll do everything in our power to see that justice is had.”
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.