Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd with his knee, has been taken into custody.
His arrest came four days after Floyd’s fatal arrest that sparked protests, rioting and outcry in Minnesota and across the US.
On Friday, John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, announced that Chauvin was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Chauvin, who has been fired from the police after 19 years in the force, is seen in a video with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
The expected charges for Chauvin would likely be provided by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who has scheduled a press conference later this evening concerning a “major development” in the case.
On Monday, Minneapolis police said officers were called to the intersection of Chicago Avenue and East 38th Street on a report of someone trying to use a forged document at Cup Foods.
Police initially said Floyd was resisting arrest and had a medical incident. However, videos show Floyd cooperating with officers, at least in the initial moments of the encounter.
A bystander’s video showed Floyd pleading that he could not breathe as a white officer — identified as Chauvin — knelt on his neck and kept his knee there for several minutes after Floyd stopped moving and became unresponsive.
The other officers involved were identified as Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng, both with the department for fewer than three years. All four officers were fired a day after Floyd’s death. As of yet, none of those three have been reported as having been taken into custody.
The incident drew comparisons to the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in 2014 in New York after being placed in a police chokehold. He also said the words “I can’t breathe” while being arrested. The phrase has become a rallying cry for protests over police brutality.
The video of Floyd’s fatal arrest circulated widely on social media, sparking protests in Minneapolis and cities across the country.
On both Tuesday and Wednesday, protests began with peaceful demonstrations near where Floyd was pinned to the ground, but violence later broke out near the 3rd Precinct police station. Wednesday evening’s protests involved more than 30 fires, destruction of businesses and looting.
Unrest was more widespread Thursday night, with destruction spreading to St. Paul, where more than 170 businesses were damaged. Several more buildings were burned and looted in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI in Minneapolis and the Department of Justice Civil Rights division