MINNEAPOLIS | The police officers involved in the death of George Floyd appear Monday before a court in Minneapolis for the first hearing of the background devoted to the murder of this African American who has re-opened the wounds of racial in the United States.
The former agent white Derek Chauvin, 44, will be heard from 13: 15 by video link from the high security prison, where he is being held. He is charged with murder for having asphyxiated George Floyd, a black man of 46 years old, kneeling on her neck for long minutes.
Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, prosecuted for complicity in the murder, should be present in person. The first two were released conditionally on payment of a deposit of $ 750 000.
The four men could take advantage of the hearing to say whether they plead guilty or not guilty. They face up to 40 years in prison. The question of whether they will be tried together or separately could also be addressed.
On 25 may, they had wanted to arrest George Floyd who was suspected of having attempted to sell a fake ticket of 25 dollars in a trade of Minneapolis, in the north of the United States. The forty-something woman, handcuffed, was tackled to the ground and officer Derek Chauvin had applied his knee on his neck to keep him there.
“I can’t breathe”, has begged George Floyd several times before losing consciousness. Despite the interventions of passers-by, Derek Chauvin has continued to exert its pressure.
The drama, of which the images captured by a bandwidth became viral, has sparked a wave of protests unseen since the great civil rights marches of the 1960s, which has even surpassed the u.s. borders.
Dismantle the police
The anger of the street was rising quickly, because, in a first time, justice had been slow to respond. The police had immediately fired the four men, but the local prosecutor responsible for the case had arrested Derek Chauvin that four days after the fact, and had been indicted for “involuntary manslaughter”, without questioning his colleagues.
The file had then been removed to be directly entrusted to the services of the attorney of the State of Minnesota. An autopsy had confirmed that George Floyd of death was “homicide” because “of the pressure on his neck” and the charges against Derek Chauvin had been reclassified as “murder”. His three colleagues had been arrested and charged in turn for “aiding and abetting”.
Despite the relief of the family, the protests continued in the United States.
In the processions mingled calls to reform the police, to put an end to the inequalities between black Americans and whites, and to assume the past racist and pro-slavery in the country.
This pressure has borne the first fruits: many police departments have abandoned the “key bottleneck”, others are committed to making public the liability of their agents or to exclude the powerful trade unions disciplinary procedures. The city Council of Minneapolis has decided to dismantle its police to reinvent a new services order.
But at the federal level, developments are more shy. The republican chairman Donald Trump, campaigning for his re-election, has focused on the excesses committed by the fringes of the demonstrations to pose as the guarantor of “law and order”.