Derek Chauvin Should Face First-Degree Murder Charges, Attorney for George Floyd's Family Says

The family of George Floyd, the slain black man whose death sparked protests around the nation, wants justice. Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder. However, Floyd's loved ones want the disgraced former Minneapolis cop to face first-degree charges. The family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, relayed this wish to the public while appearing on Face the Nation.

"We think that [Chauvin] had intent, based on not the one minute, two minutes, but over eight minutes, almost nine minutes, he kept his knee in a man's neck that was begging and pleading for breath," Crump said. "At what point does it not be about detaining a man who is face-down with handcuffs, not posing any threat, to an intentional will to cause bodily harm? And if that results in death, every prosecutor in America will show that that is first-degree murder."

The high-profile civil rights lawyer further voiced his argument for Chauvin's intent to kill Floyd by pointing out that one of the other officers at the scene, Thomas Lane, suggested they roll Floyd on his side once he lost consciousness. However, Chauvin refused. "That's intent," Crump plainly said.

He also brought up the fact that both Floyd and Chauvin were employed at the same nightclub, meaning they likely crossed paths with one another. Crump thinks "they had to overlap," and that part of the investigation "is going to be an interesting aspect to this case." he doubled down on this train of thought, saying, "We believe he knew who George Floyd was."

Crumb also addressed the widespread protests and riots that have sprung up in Floyd's and other slain black Americans' names. "He's just the latest tipping point in a string of killings of unarmed black people at the hands, or should I say in his case, the knee of the police," he said. "Many elected officials have to understand that it is not these protesters that started these fires across America. It is police brutality and a racist criminal justice system. And the only thing that can put out these fires are police accountability and equal justice."