Minnesota’s attorney general said Monday he will prosecute the four cops involved in the George Floyd case to “the highest degree of accountability.”
“We are reviewing the evidence, and we are reviewing the law, and we are going to charge this case in a manner consistent with the highest level of accountability that the facts and the law will support,” AG Keith Ellison told MSNBC — after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced over the weekend that the state’s highest lawman would be taking over prosecution of the racially charged case.
Fired Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he was caught on camera using his knee to pin Floyd’s neck to the ground May 25 during a bust over an alleged counterfeit $20 bill.
The white officer refused to ease up on the black man’s neck even when Floyd cried out, “I can’t breathe!” and apparently lost consciousness. Floyd died — and protests over the incident have continued to rage across the country, including in New York City, and even across the globe.
Three other officers who were at the scene at the time have been fired also. They are still under investigation, authorities have said.
“I can assure you that we’re taking a fresh look at this,” Ellison told MSNBC, adding that his team will be taking its time to avoid rushing to judgment about anything.
“It is essential that this prosecution is viewed as just and fair,” he said. “I don’t want to have to defend this prosecution from false accusations of rush to judgment or pressure by the public.
“We are reviewing all of the evidence. The public knows some things about the other officers, but there’s a whole body of evidence that we’re still reviewing, and so we have to make sure that we look at the facts and the law.
“This is justice. We’re going on justice and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.
“I know that people are frustrated by the pacing, but I want to assure them that as a person who has dedicated my whole life to civil rights and justice, I am going to pursue justice vigorously, relentlessly, uncompromisingly.”