MINNEAPOLIS (NewsNation Now) — A Minnesota judge dismissed a third-degree murder charge filed against the former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck, but the more serious second-degree murder charge remains.
Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill’s ruling was made public Thursday. Derek Chauvin now faces two counts going forward: second-degree murder and manslaughter. Cahill also denied defense requests to dismiss the aiding and abetting counts against three other former officers, Thomas Lane, J. Jueng and Tou Thao.
“In this court’s view, with one exception, the State has met its burden of showing probable cause that warrants proceeding to trial against each of these Defendants on each of the criminal charges the State has filed against them,” Cahill wrote. He said it will be up to a jury to decide whether the officers are guilty.
Floyd, a Black man who was in handcuffs, died May 25 after Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and became motionless.
All four officers were fired.
Prosecutors argued there was probable cause for the officers to go to trial on all of the charges, saying Chauvin intentionally assaulted Floyd, which is an element of the second-degree murder charge, and that the other officers assisted.
Defense attorneys had argued that there was not enough probable cause to charge the former officers. Chauvin’s attorney said his client had no intent to assault or kill Floyd, while attorneys for the other officers argued that their clients did not intend or conspire to help Chauvin.
Chauvin was released from prison earlier this month after posting a $1 million bond. A Minnesota judge also ruled that Chauvin could live in a neighboring state while awaiting trial after citing safety concerns.
See the judge’s full ruling below:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.