MN Attorney General Keith Ellison Taking Control of George Floyd Prosecution

The Hill reports, “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) has assumed control of the prosecution of the Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd and is ‘very seriously looking at’ whether to prosecute the three officers present at the scene who so far do not face charges.”

“We’re going over it carefully and we are reviewing the video tapes, the audio tapes, all the evidence, and we will make a charging decision based on the facts that we can prove, but I don’t want anybody to doubt that we are very seriously looking at that issue,” Ellison said in an interview.

Derek Chauvin, the former police officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck, was charged on Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers on the scene have been fired but so far have not been charged.

Ellison warned about the historical difficulty of successfully prosecuting police officers, even with video evidence.

He noted that the police officers who were caught on video beating Rodney King in Los Angeles were not convicted.

Neither was North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, who was charged after shooting Walter Scott in the back in South Carolina. Slager falsely claimed Scott had attempted to grab his stun gun. A mistrial was declared when the jury deadlocked, although Slager later pleaded guilty to civil rights violations.

“I don’t deny that your eyes are working well and you saw what you saw, but that doesn’t mean that when we get to a courtroom that it’s going to be some sort of easy slam dunk. History proves that it isn’t. So what I’d say is we’re going to be fair,” Ellison said. “We’re going to investigate the case carefully. We’re going to prepare carefully.”