George Floyd death: what happened to him, when did he die and who were the officers present with Derek Chauvin

People in Minneapolis react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)People in Minneapolis react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
People in Minneapolis react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Derek Chauvin has been handed an extra 21 year jail sentence over his role in death of George Floyd

The murder of George Floyd shocked the US and the world three years ago.

The 46-year-old's death sparked a chain of protests against police brutality in the US and across the globe. The Black Lives Matter movement, which originally launched in 2013, picked up momentum once again in the wake of the protests.

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Floyd, 46, was filmed repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” as Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine minutes on 25 May 2020. The unarmed man lost consciousness and was pronounced dead in hospital an hour later. George Floyd had been arrested for a non-violent crime prior to his death.

Former police officer Derek Chauvin is currently serving a prison sentence for violating George Floyd’s civil rights and for murder and manslaughter. He was found guilty of Mr Floyd’s murder during a Minneapolis trial in April 2021.

Tou Thao, 36, J Alexander Kueng, 28, and Thomas Lane, 38, said they didn't realise Mr Floyd needed medical care. Kueng and Lane have both received sentences of three years and 42 months respectively after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting manslaughter - Thao was found guilty of the same charge in May 2023 and is due to be sentenced in August 2023.

People in Minneapolis react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)People in Minneapolis react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
People in Minneapolis react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

What happened to George Floyd?

George Floyd was arrested after a teenage shop assistant at Cup Foods grocery store accused him of paying for a pack of cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill.

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When George Floyd refused to return the cigarettes, police were called to the scene.

A transcript of the phone call to the police was released by authorities with the shop assistant quoted to have said that Floyd was “drunk” and “not in control of himself”.

When officers arrive at the scene Mr Floyd was in a car with two other around the corner from the shop.

Officer Thomas Lane pulled out his gun after he approached the car – it has not been explained why the police officer felt it necessary to do this.

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Prosecutors say that Officer Lane "put his hands on Mr Floyd, and pulled him out of the car", before Mr Floyd "actively resisted being handcuffed".

Mr Floyd was compliant once arrested by Officer Lane.

According to a police report George Floyd resisted arrest when officers tried to put him in a squad car. According to the police report Mr Floyd "stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic".

Following a struggle Mr Floyd was restrained by Officer Derek Chauvin, with three more police officers assisting in restraining the 46-year-old.

In footage from bystanders Officer Chauvin could be seen kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.

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Once he lost consciousness Floyd was taken by officers to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Mr Floyd said “I can’t breathe” twenty times.

What has Derek Chauvin been charged with?

In this image taken from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin addresses the Floyd family at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis (Court TV via AP, Pool)In this image taken from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin addresses the Floyd family at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis (Court TV via AP, Pool)
In this image taken from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin addresses the Floyd family at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Former police officer Derek Chauvin is serving a prison sentence after being convicted with the murder of George Floyd.

According to Minnesota statute someone who is guilty of second degree murder is defined as a person who “causes the death of a human being with intent to effect the death of that person or another, but without premeditation."

Minnesota defines third-degree murder as the causing of death “by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree.”

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A person who is found guilty of third degree murder faces no more than 25 years in prison, while a person who is found guilty of second degree murder could face up to 40 years behind bars.

He was handed a 22-and-a-half year sentence on state charges of murder and manslaughter.

Why has he been handed another prison sentence?

Chauvin has been handed a 21 year prison sentence for violating George Floyd’s civil rights.

US District Judge Paul Magnuson’s sentence came after Chauvin had agreed to a plea deal that called for a sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years.

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Federal prosecutors had sought the top end of that range, arguing that Chauvin, who is white, killed Floyd in cold blood when he pinned the black man to the pavement outside a Minneapolis corner store on May 25, 2020, for more than nine minutes as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.

Chauvin’s attorney had sought 20 years, arguing that Chauvin was remorseful.

During a hearing on Thursday (7 July) Chauvin told Floyd’s family that he “wishes all the best” for Floyd’s children.

But Chauvin’s brief remarks included no direct apology or expression of remorse to Floyd’s family.

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The plea deal called for Chauvin to serve the sentences at the same time and to be transferred from a Minnesota state prison to a federal prison, where experts say he likely will be safer and may be held under less restrictive conditions.

What have other police officers been charged with?

A US jury has found three former Minneapolis police officers present at the death of George Floyd denied him of his civil rights.

The trio were charged with “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs” during the attempted arrest of Mr Floyd, an the unarmed black man, in May 2020.

Tou Thao, 36, J Alexander Kueng, 28, and Thomas Lane, 38, said they didn’t realise Mr Floyd needed medical care. They each face up to 25 years in prison for violating Mr Floyd’s civil rights.