Officer charged with George Floyd’s death as protests flare

APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_49411 Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_47351 Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning fast food restaurant, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_28582 A protestor sprays graffiti on a wall near the Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_62192 A protestor holds a sign in front of the Oakland police department on Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Oakland, Calif.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_93824 A protestor douses her face with milk after being exposed to tear gas fired by police, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_41174 A protester carries a U.S. flag upside down, a sign of distress, next to a burning building Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_79304 Protestors hold a banner in front of the Oakland police department on Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Oakland, Calif.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_84948 A building burns along University Avenue during a protest, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_54668 Protestors block an intersection outside the Oakland police department on Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Oakland, Calif.
Police officers walk through a cloud of tear gas, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_90915 Protestors block an intersection outside the Oakland police department on Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Oakland, Calif.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_86325 A liquor store is burnt during protests near the Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police-Death-Protests_36517 City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins sings Amazing Grace during a news conference Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. Violent protests over the death of a black man in police custody rocked a Minneapolis neighborhood for a second straight night as angry crowds looted stores, set fires and left a path of damage that stretched for miles. The mayor asked the governor to activate the National Guard.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_13733 Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning liquor store near the Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police-Death-Protests_20964 Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, left, listens as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey becomes emotional during a news conference Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. Violent protests over the death of a black man in police custody rocked a Minneapolis neighborhood for a second straight night as angry crowds looted stores, set fires and left a path of damage that stretched for miles. The mayor asked the governor to activate the National Guard.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_48052 Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_04346 People loot then burn an Office Depot Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police-Death-Protests_93989 Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey speaks during a news conference Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. Violent protests over the death of a black man in police custody rocked a Minneapolis neighborhood for a second straight night as angry crowds looted stores, set fires and left a path of damage that stretched for miles. The mayor asked the governor to activate the National Guard.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_08663 Minneapolis firefighters work to put out a fire as nearby Minneapolis police stand near a Target Store that had been looted after a night of unrest and protests in the death of George Floyd early Thursday, May 28, 2020 in downtown Minneapolis. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. A video taken by a bystander shows a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on the neck of a man in custody who later died. The four officers involved have been fired.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_49411 Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_16373 Police officers walk through a cloud of tear gas, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_54651 In this May 29, 2020, photo, a check-cashing business burns during protests in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_66114 People loot a convenience store Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_10648 A protestor douses her face with milk after being exposed to tear gas fired by police, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_Memphis_80330 A Memphis Police officer fist bumps a protestor in an attempt to bring the protest over the death of George Floyd to a peaceful conclusion, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_39856 A police officer tosses a tear gas canister towards protestors on Hamline Avenue, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_52162 Motorists watch as a building burns during a protest along University Avenue, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_65759 Protestors watch as police in riot gear walk down a residential street, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_26656 Protestors run from tear gas canisters thrown by police, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_18923 A police officer prepares to throw a tear gas canister towards protestors, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_66939 Police officers clear a section of Hamline Avenue in riot gear, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_15169 Residents react after tear gas is fired by police onto their porch as they sat to watch protestors demonstrate on Hamline Avenue, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_61386 A protestor reacts as she walks through a cloud of tear gas, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_33292 A protestor escapes a cloud of tear gas fired by police, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_30037 A protestor reacts as she walks through a cloud of tear gas, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_15588 Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_60953 Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_14756 Protestors enter a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_66693 Protestors react after being exposed to tear gas fired by police, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_96925 People attempt to extinguish cars on fire, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_01034 This photo provided by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office shows former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was arrested Friday, May 29, 2020, in the Memorial Day death of George Floyd. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after a shocking video of him kneeling for nearly nine minutes on the neck of Floyd, a black man, set off a wave of protests across the country.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_51599 Demonstrators gather Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Deaths_National_Protest_44230 Police officers and protesters clash near CNN center, Friday, May 29, 2020 in Atlanta. The protest started peacefully earlier in the day before demonstrators clashed with police.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_14946 A protestor faces off with two police officers using less-lethal ammunition in their weapons, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Georgia_09305 After a peaceful march Friday, May 29, 2020, in Atlanta, the Georgia State Capitol that swelled with protestors returned to the area around the Centennial Olympic Park and CNN center where some confronted police, who sprayed some demonstrators with pepper spray. They carried signs and chanted their messages of outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_47688 Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protest_Nevada_64250 A woman protesting the death of George Floyd stands in front of a line of police along Las Vegas Boulevard, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Las Vegas. Floyd died on Memorial Day while in the custody of the Minneapolis police.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_87066 A woman yells at a sheriff's deputy during a protest following the death of George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis police officers, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_California_95137 A protester holds up his fist while chanting a slogan during a protest over the death of George Floyd, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Los Angeles. Floyd died in police custody Monday in Minneapolis.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_California_37918 A protester confronts San Jose police as they advance on Friday, May 29, 2020, in San Jose, Calif., as people demonstrate nationwide in response to George Floyd dying while in police custody on Memorial Day, in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_45994 Protesters move down a street, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_18192 A police officer prepares to shoot tear gas Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_54651 In this May 29, 2020, photo, a check-cashing business burns during protests in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_41174 A protester carries a U.S. flag upside, a sign of distress, next to a burning building Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_37245 Law enforcement officers amassed along Lake Street near Hiawatha Ave. as fires burned after a night of unrest and protests in the death of George Floyd early Friday, May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_04371 Protesters gather in front of the burning 3rd Precinct building of the Minneapolis Police Department on Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_84110 Protesters gather in front of a burning fast food restaurant Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_04346 People loot then burn an Office Depot Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_28056 Demonstrators gather in the street with their hands raised Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_45490 People steal from a store Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
APTOPIX_Minneapolis_Police_Death_86872 A protester yells at a member of the Minnesota National Guard Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_62951 People loot an Office Depot Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_38214 Minnesota National Guard walk past protesters Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_84488 People set fire in a business Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_14590 A protester is doused with milk Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Minneapolis_Police_Death_Protests_32694 A fire burns at an Office Depot Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck as he begged for air was arrested Friday and charged with murder, and crowds broke overnight curfews imposed to try to stem violent protests over police killings of African Americans that have spread to cities across the U.S.

On Minneapolis’ south side, officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets to drive back crowds of protesters who then set cars and businesses on fire and broke into stores, including some near a police station.

Shortly before midnight, scores of officers on foot and in vehicles moved in to curb the violence a day after city and state leaders faced blowback for their handling of the crisis. Protesters on Thursday torched a police station soon after it was abandoned by police and vandalized dozens of businesses.

The Pentagon took the rare step Friday of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders who did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations.

Ben Hubert, 26, of Minneapolis, said he wasn’t surprised people were breaking curfew and setting fires.

“I’m outraged,” he said of the Floyd case. “But I’m also sad. The injustice has been going on for so long. It’s been swelling for years.”

Downtown, thousands of protesters encircled a police station after the 8 p.m. curfew. “Prosecute the police!” some chanted, and “Say his name: George Floyd!” There was no violence, though some protesters sprayed graffiti on buildings.

The renewed protests came after Officer Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He also was accused of ignoring another officer who expressed concerns about Floyd as he lay handcuffed on the ground, pleading that he could not breathe while Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. Floyd, who was black, had been arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill at a store.

Chauvin, who was fired along with three other officers who were at the scene, faces more than 12 years in prison if convicted of murder.

An attorney for Floyd’s family welcomed the arrest but said he expected a more serious murder charge and wants the other officers arrested, too.

Prosecutor Mike Freeman said more charges were possible, but authorities “felt it appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator.”

As the night dragged on, more fires erupted on the south side: A Japanese restaurant, a Wells Fargo bank, another restaurant, an Office Depot. Many burned for hours. Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted that firefighters could not respond until areas were secure. He said the city was working with the National Guard and the state to “provide support in the south.”

Protests nationwide have been fueled by outrage over Floyd’s death and years of police violence against African Americans. Protesters smashed windows at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, set a police car on fire and struck officers with bottles. Large demonstrations in New York, Houston, Washington, D.C., and dozens of other cities ranged from people peacefully blocking roads to repeated clashes with police.

“You are disgracing our city,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told protesters. “You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country.”

Police were trying to put Floyd in a squad car Monday when he stiffened and fell to the ground, saying he was claustrophobic, a criminal complaint said. Chauvin and Officer Tou Thoa arrived and tried several times to get the struggling Floyd into the car.

Chauvin eventually pulled Floyd out of the car, and the handcuffed Floyd went to the ground face down. Officer J.K. Kueng held Floyd’s back and Officer Thomas Lane held his legs while Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s head and neck area, the complaint said.

When Lane asked if Floyd should be rolled onto his side, Chauvin said, “No, staying put is where we got him.” Lane said he was “worried about excited delirium or whatever.”

An autopsy said the combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, likely contributed to his death. It revealed nothing to support strangulation as the cause of death.

There were no other details about intoxicants, and toxicology results can take weeks. In the 911 call that drew police, the caller describes the man suspected of paying with counterfeit money as “awfully drunk and he’s not in control of himself.”

After Floyd apparently stopped breathing, Lane again said he wanted to roll Floyd onto his side. Kueng checked for a pulse and said he could not find one, according to the complaint.

Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, including nearly three minutes after Floyd stopped moving and talking, the complaint said.

Chauvin’s attorney had no comment when reached by The Associated Press.

The prosecutor highlighted the “extraordinary speed” in charging the case four days after Floyd’s death and defended himself against questions about why it did not happen sooner. Freeman said his office needed time to gather evidence, including what he called the “horrible” video recorded by a bystander.

News of the arrest came moments after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged the “abject failure” in responding to this week’s protests and called for swift justice for the officers. Walz said the state took the lead after the police station burned.

“Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire. The fire is still smoldering in our streets. The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish unheard,” Walz said.

President Donald Trump said Friday that he’d spoken to Floyd’s family and “expressed my sorrow.”

He called video of the arrest “just a horrible thing to witness and to watch. It certainly looked like there was no excuse for it.”

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family, asked to take custody of Floyd’s body for an independent autopsy.

The doctor who will do the autopsy is Michael Baden, former chief medical examiner of New York City, who was hired to do an autopsy for Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 after New York police placed him in a chokehold and he pleaded that he could not breathe.

State and federal authorities also are investigating Floyd’s death.

___

Associated Press writers Steve Karnowski, Aaron Morrison and Doug Glass in Minneapolis, Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee, Bernard Condon in New York, and James LaPorta in Delray Beach, Fla., contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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