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Prosecutors do not announce charges in George Floyd's death but say 'justice will be served'

As heated protests over George Floyd's death continue in Minneapolis, CNN's Sara Sidner shows the 'chaotic' scenes as people looted Target and other local businesses.

Posted: May 28, 2020 10:03 AM
Updated: May 28, 2020 10:30 PM


Prosecutors looking at the death of George Floyd on Thursday asked the people of Minneapolis for patience while they investigate the case that has riled the city and the nation.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died after pleading for help as a police officer used his knee on Floyd's neck to pin him -- unarmed and handcuffed -- to the ground. His death sparked outrage and protests across the country, demonstrations that continued Thursday.

In Minneapolis, hundreds of people gathered outside the police departments Third Precinct. Some protesters brought signs and some threw rocks. A temporary fence in front of the station was knocked over. Police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bags fired at rock throwers.

Earlier, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman, giving an update to reporters on the case, said he must look at all evidence before bringing charges.

'My job in the end is to prove he violated a criminal statute. And there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge. We need to wade through all of that evidence and come to a meaningful decision and we are doing that to the best of our ability.'

About 90 minutes later, Freeman's office released a statement, and told CNN that Freeman misspoke about 'other evidence.'

'Evidence not favorable to our case needs to be carefully examined to understand the full picture of what actually happened,' the statement reads. 'This happens in every case. '

During the news conference, federal prosecutor Erica MacDonald told reporters she has hoped to brief them on a new development in the case but couldn't at this point.

'We are going to investigate it as expeditiously, as thoroughly as justice demands,' Freeman told reporters. 'That video is graphic, horrific and terrible. And no person should do that.'

Both MacDonald and Freeman said the investigation requires more time.

'I am pleading with individuals to remain calm and let us conduct this investigation,' she said. 'Our highest priority is that justice will be served.'

'Sometimes that takes a little time and we ask people to be patient,' Freeman said. 'We have to get this right.'

The Minneapolis Police Department this week fired the four officers involved in Floyd's arrest. The incident is being investigated by local, state and federal authorities.

All four officers involved in the death have invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, Freeman told CNN following the press conference.

Minnesota governor activates National Guard

Minneapolis' police chief on Thursday acknowledged his department had contributed to a 'deficit of hope' in the city after the -- and he and other officials called for calm following a night of destructive protests.

'I am absolutely sorry for the pain, devastation and trauma Mr. Floyd's death has left on his family, his loved ones,' Minneapolis and the world, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said in a news conference.

'I know there is currently a deficit of hope in our city ... and I know our department has contributed to that deficit as a whole,' Arradondo said.

In Minneapolis, protests transitioned to rioting and looting south of downtown, with people smashing their way into stores and setting businesses and other buildings ablaze.

There was more looting Thursday in St. Paul, the state capital, next door.

Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard to watch over the demonstrations.

Other states saw protests too. There were gatherings in Denver and New York. At the latter protest, about 40 people were arrested and several officers were injured, a law enforcement official told CNN.

The charges range from obstruction of governmental administration to criminal possession of a weapon, the official added.

On Wednesday night, Minneapolis' second day of protests transitioned to rioting and looting south of downtown, with people smashing their way into stores and setting businesses and other buildings ablaze.

One of Floyd's brothers cried Thursday morning as he said his family wants protests to be peaceful, but stressed people are struggling with seeing another black man die following a police encounter, this one over the passing of an allegedly counterfeit $20 bill at a store.

'I want everybody to be peaceful right now, but people are torn and hurt, because they're tired of seeing black men die,' George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, said on CNN's 'New Day.'

'These officers (involved in George's arrest) need to be arrested right now ... and held accountable about everything because these people want justice right now,' he said.

A man was fatally shot overnight near the protests, police said early Thursday. One person was arrested, and police said they're investigating the nature of the incident.

Fires eventually broke out at businesses in the area, including an AutoZone. Flames lit up a building under construction, one floor eventually collapsing.

At a nearby Target, video shows people taking cartloads of goods and loading them into their cars.

People also raided a grocery store. On Thursday morning its exterior glass lay shattered and the floor was littered with groceries as a interior fire sprinkler system sprayed water.

An unspecified number of police officers and other people suffered minor injuries in the protests, Arradondo said, without elaborating.

The unrest followed shock and anger that spread through communities across the country as bystander video of Floyd's last moments alive began circulating on social media.

The 46-year-old man was arrested Monday evening after, police said, officers were called to investigate alleged forgery at a corner store called Cup Foods. Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, an owner of the store, told CNN a staff member called police to report someone using a fake $20 bill.

Police arrived, and Floyd, a suspect in the incident, was handcuffed and pinned on the ground. As he pleaded that he couldn't breathe, a police officer held him down with a knee on his neck. Three other officers also were at the scene.

Floyd's family wants charges against four officers

Floyd, a 46-year-old Houston native, worked security at Conga Latin Bistro in Minneapolis for five years, according to its owner, Jovanni Thunstrom.

He moved to Minneapolis for work and to drive trucks, his friend of more than 20 years, former NBA player Stephen Jackson, said.

Jackson said Floyd, a father of two girls, was like a brother to him, and they used to refer to each other as twins.

'He was just a great dude ... somebody that wanted to be a protector and provider for everybody around him,' Jackson told CNN Thursday.

'It sucks that the whole world had to see my friend go that way. ... He didn't deserve that, but the way that people are supportive of him and standing up for him ... his death will not be in vain.'

No charges have been filed in Floyd's death, but his family say they want murder charges for all four fired officers.

Who the officers are

In a news conference Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also called for criminal charges to be brought against the officer who kept his knee on Floyd. That officer was identified by his attorney Tom Kelly as Derek Chauvin. Kelly has not released a statement on Chauvin's behalf.

Chauvin had 18 complaints filed with the police department's internal affairs division, according to MPD.

It's unclear what the complaints, which were all closed, were for and no details were provided by police.

Only two of the 18 complaints against Chauvin were 'closed with discipline,' according to a public summary from police. The 'discipline issued' column listed a letter of reprimand for each of the two complaints.

In an interview aired Thursday, Frey told CBS News that he believed Floyd's death constituted murder.

'I am not a prosecutor, but let me be clear: The arresting officer killed someone,' Frew told CBS. 'He (Floyd) would be alive today if he were white.'

The other three officers were identified by police as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng.

Thomas Plunkett, representing Kueng, said, 'At this time, out of respect for Mr. Floyd, we are declining all invitations to discuss these painful events.'

Earl Gray is representing another of the officers involved but has declined to say who his client is.

Officers told witness Floyd resisted arrest

Police said they arrested Floyd Monday after responding to the forgery call and finding him inside a car.

Police said he 'physically resisted' after he got out of the vehicle.

Surveillance video obtained from a nearby restaurant shows some of the officers' initial contact with him and doesn't appear to show obvious resistance from a handcuffed Floyd. Eventually Floyd is escorted away from view.

Floyd was declared dead at a nearby hospital a short time later. A medics team that responded to the incident worked on an 'unresponsive, pulseless male,' according to a Minneapolis Fire Department narrative released by police.

Minneapolis police have not yet released bodycam footage from the officers involved.

This story has been updated to include additional statements by the Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman regarding evidence in the case.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 352891

Reported Deaths: 7597
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24704451
DeSoto23619283
Harrison21395335
Jackson15984255
Rankin15957294
Madison11224227
Lee10952180
Jones9316171
Forrest9136163
Lauderdale8211244
Lamar736590
Lowndes7253152
Lafayette6658125
Washington5681140
Pearl River5396155
Oktibbeha506598
Bolivar5022134
Warren4828128
Panola4823112
Marshall4759106
Pontotoc455773
Neshoba4487181
Hancock444488
Union441479
Monroe4390138
Lincoln4247116
Pike3771114
Leflore3696125
Alcorn362474
Tate356188
Sunflower351794
Adams350690
Scott349177
Yazoo344877
Copiah333569
Simpson329191
Itawamba318581
Tippah316569
Coahoma316385
Covington305584
Prentiss304163
Leake291976
Marion291882
George285851
Wayne282345
Grenada272488
Newton269264
Tishomingo241670
Stone240038
Winston238484
Jasper236248
Attala229974
Chickasaw222760
Clay204654
Holmes204374
Clarke190480
Tallahatchie185842
Smith184936
Calhoun184632
Yalobusha174241
Walthall151249
Lawrence146426
Greene144735
Amite140144
Noxubee137635
Perry137038
Montgomery134644
Carroll127531
Webster125132
Jefferson Davis121334
Tunica116627
Benton108425
Claiborne106131
Kemper105029
Humphreys102533
Franklin88724
Quitman86819
Choctaw83619
Wilkinson79632
Jefferson72328
Sharkey52018
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 595816

Reported Deaths: 11561
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson865251591
Mobile50436872
Madison37905534
Shelby27652260
Tuscaloosa27422465
Montgomery26428628
Baldwin26175329
Lee17414181
Calhoun15549334
Morgan15265291
Etowah15106372
Marshall13248236
Houston12297294
Elmore11006220
St. Clair10903252
Limestone10867158
Cullman10643206
Lauderdale10374255
DeKalb9603193
Talladega9032188
Walker7873288
Autauga7635114
Blount7463140
Jackson7450117
Colbert6780142
Coffee6515132
Dale5803117
Covington4864125
Russell483543
Chilton4828117
Franklin465681
Tallapoosa4591156
Escambia457583
Chambers4007125
Dallas3756164
Clarke374663
Marion3490107
Pike336979
Lawrence3280100
Winston301973
Bibb293766
Geneva293083
Marengo263867
Barbour254361
Pickens247962
Butler243672
Hale236979
Fayette228565
Henry218845
Monroe206941
Randolph203844
Cherokee201748
Washington189439
Macon172252
Crenshaw171758
Clay167659
Cleburne161845
Lamar152638
Lowndes146555
Wilcox132731
Bullock126542
Conecuh123032
Coosa119729
Perry111228
Sumter110933
Greene99937
Choctaw64525
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