Three former Minneapolis police officers, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, have been criminally charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder Wednesday in connection with the death of George Floyd.
Derek Chauvin, a former officer who had already been charged with third-degree murder in the case, will now be charged with second-degree murder.
Second-degree murder – the new charge – can carry a sentence of up to 40 years, 15 years longer than the maximum sentence for third-degree murder.
The ex-cops had assisted another officer, Chauvin, in arresting Floyd on Memorial Day on the suspicion that Floyd passed a counterfeit bill.
George Floyd, 46, died after Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25, reigniting the explosive issue of police brutality against African Americans.