Judge dismisses a murder charge connected to the death of George Floyd

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FILE – This June 3, 3030 file photo provided by the Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff’s Office shows former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin posted bail on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, and was released from prison, according to court documents. Chauvin posted a $1 million bond, and the Department of Corrections confirmed he was no longer in custody at the state’s facility in Oak Park Heights, where he had been detained pending trial. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Minnesota judge has dismissed a third-degree murder charge filed against the former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck, but the more serious second-degree murder charge remains.
           
Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill’s ruling was made public Thursday. Chauvin now faces two counts going forward: second-degree murder and manslaughter. Cahill also denied defense requests to dismiss the aiding and abetting counts against three other former officers, Thomas Lane, J. Jueng and Tou Thao.
           
Floyd, a Black man who was in handcuffs, died May 25 after Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and became motionless.
           
All four officers were fired.
           
Prosecutors argued there was probable cause for the officers to go to trial on all of the charges, saying Chauvin intentionally assaulted Floyd, which is an element of the second-degree murder charge, and that the other officers assisted.
           
Defense attorneys had argued that there was not enough probable cause to charge the former officers. Chauvin’s attorney said his client had no intent to assault or kill Floyd, while attorneys for the other officers argued that their clients did not intend or conspire to help Chauvin.

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