At least 9,300 people have been arrested across the United States amid the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died last week in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and police brutality nationwide.
US protesters welcomed new charges brought Wednesday against Minneapolis officers in the killing of African American man George Floyd – but thousands still marched in cities across the country for a ninth straight night, chanting against racism and police brutality.
With a key demand met, demonstrators nevertheless staged large and mainly peaceful rallies calling for deeper change in cities from New York to Los Angeles, hours after the new indictments were announced.
In Minnesota, prosecutors had initially charged 44-year-old Derek Chauvin – the white officer filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes – with third-degree murder.
But they said Wednesday they were upgrading the charge, roughly akin to manslaughter, to second-degree murder, which does not involve premeditation but carries stiffer penalties.
Chauvin’s three colleagues at the scene of Floyd’s May 25 arrest for allegedly seeking to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit bill are accused of being complicit in the killing.
Tou Thao, 34, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Thomas Lane, 37, were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and taken into custody.