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JUST IN: Walz issues statement following charges against 4 officers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP/KTTC) -- Prosecutors have charged a Minneapolis police officer filmed pressing his knee against George Floyd's neck with second-degree murder, and for the first time are leveling charges against three other officers.

Bystander video showing Floyd's May 25 death has sparked protests nationwide and around the world. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired May 26 and initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Three other officers were also fired but weren't immediately charged.

Attorney General Keith Ellison on Wednesday charged the other three officers with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. Floyd's family and protesters have demanded that all four be charged.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has responded to the announcement, saying, "The charges announced by Attorney General Keith Ellison today are a meaningful step toward justice for George Floyd. But we must also recognize that the anguish driving protests around the world is about more than one tragic incident.”

“George Floyd’s death is the symptom of a disease," Walz added. "We will not wake up one day and have the disease of systemic racism cured for us. This is on each of us to solve together, and we have hard work ahead.”

"The very fact that we have filed these charges means that we believe in them. But what I do not believe is that one successful prosecution can rectify the hurt and loss that so many people feel," Ellison said.

The Floyd family has issued a joint statement with their attorney regarding the upgraded charge against Chauvin and the arrest of the three other officers involved:

“This is a bittersweet moment for the family of George Floyd. We are deeply gratified that Attorney General Keith Ellison took decisive action in this case, arresting and charging all the officers involved in George Floyd’s death and upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder. This is a significant step forward on the road to justice, and we are gratified that this important action was brought before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest. That is a source of peace for George’s family in this painful time. Attorney General Ellison has informed the family that his office will continue to investigate and will upgrade the charges to first-degree murder if the evidence supports it."


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