George Floyd

Appeals Court Rules 3rd-Degree Murder Charge Against Chauvin May Be Reinstated

Derek Chauvin, who was seen on a bystander video kneeling on George Floyd's neck for several minutes, faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges

This booking photo from May 29, 2020, shows former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in connection to the death of George Floyd.
Ramsey County Jail

An appeals court ruled Friday that a lower court must reconsider reinstating a third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused in the killing of George Floyd. His trial begins Monday.

The trial judge, Peter Cahill, of the Fourth Judicial District Court, which serves Hennepin County, dismissed a third-degree murder count in October for lack of probable cause. Cahill ruled at the time that a third-degree murder charge under Minnesota law requires proof that someone's conduct was "eminently dangerous to others," not just to Floyd.

Prosecutors asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals to reinstate the charge after it upheld the third-degree murder conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor in a deadly 2017 shooting.

"This court's precedential opinion in Noor became binding authority on the date it was filed," Friday's ruling states. "The district court therefore erred by concluding that it was not bound by the principles of law set forth in Noor and by denying the state's motion to reinstate the charge of third-degree murder on that basis."

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