By Spy Uganda
The Duchess of Sussex Maghan Markel, has spoken out for the first time about the killing of George Floyd, an African-American, the Minneapolis Police officers.
In a video she shared via Skype, which came as a surprise to many people around the world, Meghan, who said she was “nervous” about speaking out, but soon realised that “the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing”, described Floyd’s killing as devastating.
Speaking to students of Immaculate Heart, the Los Angeles Catholic School where she studied as a teenager, the duchess said that George Floyd’s life “mattered”.
She said she was “nervous” about speaking out, but soon realised that “the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing”.
“Because George Floyd’s life mattered and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered and Philando Castile’s life mattered and Tamir Rice’s life mattered,” she added, referring to other black people killed by police officers in America.
George Floyd died while in police custody May 25 in Minneapolis after one of the cops identified as Derek Chauvin, pressed his neck with his knee until he broke it.
According to the video and the criminal complaint, Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe, as witnesses protested that he was dying, and even as Lane twice asked to turn him onto his side.
Meanhwile, Chauvin and his three other colleagues have since been arrested and are currently facing various charges . Chauvin was charged on Wednesday charged with a new, more serious count of second-degree murder, and the three other officers on scene during his killing were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
“I strongly believe that these developments are in the interest of justice for Mr. Floyd, his family, our community and our state,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in announcing the charges.
The announcement came more than a week after Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis, sparking nationwide protests that call for the end to police violence against black citizens.
Derek Chauvin, 44, who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, was previously charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The new second-degree murder charge says he killed Floyd “without intent” in the course of committing assault in the third degree, according to an amended complaint.
Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, who helped restrain Floyd, and Tou Thao, who stood near the others, were not initially charged. Lane, 37, Kueng, 26, and Thao, 34, are now charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin was arrested last week and is being held at the Minnesota Department of Corrections facility in Oak Park. His bail was increased to $1 million Wednesday, court documents show.
Lane, Kueng and Thao were taken into custody Wednesday and are being held on $1 million bail, county jail records show.
Kueng’s attorney, Tom Plunkett, said in a statement that his client “was asked to turn himself in to face charges” Wednesday afternoon and was in custody 15 minutes later.
Second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree murder are punishable by up to 40 years in prison. Manslaughter and aiding and abetting manslaughter are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Family Says Charges Are Bittersweet
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Floyd family, said on Twitter that the family was gratified with the new charges.
“FAMILY REACTION: This is a bittersweet moment. We are deeply gratified that (Ellison) took decisive action, arresting & charging ALL the officers involved in #GeorgeFloyd’s death & upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder,” he said.
Still, he said that he believes Chauvin should be charged with first-degree murder, which requires intent, and the charges only represent the first steps toward justice.
“We cannot celebrate because an arrest is not a conviction and we want justice,” Crump told reporters on Wednesday. “We want whole justice.”
However, it should be noted that in America police officers are rarely charged with crimes for violence against black men, and even in those rare cases, juries have repeatedly shown an unwillingness to convict. The list of such failed cases is long.
In 2017, for example, the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter and intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety.
“We’re confident in what we’re doing, but history does show that there are clear challenges here,” Ellison said.