Lawrence Jones weighed in on the charges levied against the Minneapolis police officer who is seen in a viral video putting his knee into the neck of George Floyd, who dies in police custody.
“I spent some time going through this statement of probable cause here. And a lot of things are alarming to me in there. And the number one thing is, is that Officer [Thomas] Lane … he tells officer [Derek Chauvin], the officer, the defendant … that he has some concerns and of course, the defendant pushes back,” Jones said while co-hosting “The Five.” “But then another officer takes the pulse and then after he takes the pulse in this report, it says that he still stays and the officer says he didn’t find any pulse.”
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“And still after that, he stayed on his neck for two minutes and 43 seconds,” Jones added.
Floyd, who is black, was handcuffed by Chauvin, who is white, and pushed to the ground. A cell phone video shows Floyd’s head is turned to the side and he does not appear to be resisting. Chauvin has his knee pressed to the back of Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd is seen gasping for air and begging Chauvin to stop. He does not. Bystanders are also heard shouting at Chauvin to take his knee off Floyd’s neck.
Chauvin has been charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter.
Tou Thao, the second officer seen in the video, does nothing as Floyd struggles for several minutes before going limp.
Minneapolis has been overwhelmed with protests and destructive riots in reaction Floyd’s death.
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Jones said he was alarmed that prosecutors did not charge Chauvin with second degree murder.
“It is just alarming to me that the prosecutor was not able to find intent and malice after that,” Jones said. “But after an officer takes the pulse and you stay on his neck restricting his airway for two minutes and 43 seconds after. I think this clearly a case for the second degree.”
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