Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who has been appointed to lead the prosecution of any cases arising from the death of George Floyd, said he plans to charge the four officers involved to “the highest degree of accountability that the law and the facts will support.”
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who pinned Floyd’s neck to the ground with his knee before Floyd died, is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25.
The three other officers involved in the incident have not been charged.
Ellison said on MSNBC that he is not prepared to say whether Chauvin should face greater charges.
“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,” Ellison said.
“I can assure you that we’re taking a fresh look at this,” he said.
Determining potential charges for the other officers, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, will be met with a “similar” process, Ellison said.
Ellison, a Democrat who represented Minneapolis in Congress from 2007 to 2019, stressed that rushing the investigation would not be effective in the long run because he wants to assure he cannot be accused of missing or overlooking any evidence.
“It is essential that this prosecution is viewed as just and fair. I don’t want to have to defend this prosecution from false accusations of rush to judgement or pressure by the public,” he said. “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,” Ellison added. “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.”