A top law enforcement official in Minnesota on Friday declared George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police “a murder,” shortly before prosecutors finally charged one of the police officers with murder and manslaughter, four days after Floyd’s death.
“We’ll call it a murder. That’s what it looked like to me,” Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said at a press conference with state officials Friday morning. “I don’t want to prejudice this from a criminal perspective, but I’m just calling it what I see it.”
The four officers involved in Floyd’s death Monday were fired Tuesday, and on Friday afternoon, Harrington announced that one of the officers had been taken into custody.
Protesters in Minneapolis have taken to the streets for three consecutive nights, and similar demonstrations have taken place in cities across the country.
On Friday, Gov. Tim Walz urged “swift justice,” saying he is in close contact with the Hennepin County Attorney’s office, which said Thursday that it’s still investigating the incident, despite the gruesome video that captured the incident and has been viewed widely around the world.
Floyd’s family publicly called for charges on Thursday.
“These guys need to be arrested, convicted of murder and given the death penalty,” Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, told CNN. “They need to. They took my brother’s life. He will never get that back. I will never see him again. My family will never see him again. His kids will never see him again.”