What you need to know Wednesday:
- Protests continue for a fifth night
- Officer assigned to state Capitol tests positive for coronavirus
Increased charges for officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck and new charges for three other officers
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison increased charges Wednesday against the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck before he died and also charged the other three officers who were present during the incident, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Ellison is expected to discuss the new second-degree murder charge against former officer Derek Chauvin on Wednesday afternoon during an update on the state's investigation into Floyd's death, according to the Star Tribune. Chauvin has been fired from the Minneapolis force and was already charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The other three former officers involved — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — were each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony, and with aiding and abetting second-degree murder manslaughter with culpable negligence, the Star Tribune reports. Those officers were already fired but were not initially charged, CNN reports.
Floyd died after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, long past the point when he lost consciousness. Floyd was handcuffed and in police custody when Chauvin put him into the chokehold. — Sami Sparber
Officer assigned to protect state Capitol during protests tests positive for coronavirus
An officer temporarily assigned to the Texas Capitol to provide extra security during protests over police violence has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Austin-American Statesman reports.
“We understand the case involves the DPS/national guard security contingent temporarily assigned to the Capitol,” State Preservation Board spokesman Chistopher Currens said in an email, according to the Statesman.
The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard did not immediately respond to request for comment, the Statesman reported. The Texas Capitol has been closed to the public since March to reduce spread of the new coronavirus. — Sami Sparber
Protests continue across Texas for a fifth night
For the fifth night in a row, people in cities across Texas, including Austin, Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth, marched for George Floyd and in protest of police violence. In Houston, more than 60,000 people marched while chanting, carrying signs and demanding “Justice 4 George Floyd.” Mayor Sylvester Turner and several other elected officials joined the march.
The Dallas Morning News reported a quieter night Tuesday after two nights of protesting during which hundreds of people were arrested. On Tuesday, Dallas officials announced an expansion of the zones where the city's 7 p.m. curfew would be enforced.
In Austin, hundreds of people gathered around the police headquarters and in front of the Texas state Capitol.
Trib stories you may have missed:
- Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson blamed “outsiders” Tuesday for sparking violence among peaceful protests in Dallas over the past five days in response to the death of George Floyd. But arrest data provided by the city of Dallas shows nearly all the people who were arrested in protests this past weekend are from Dallas or the surrounding areas.
- Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that Texas does not need the U.S. military’s help in containing protests over the death of George Floyd, a day after President Donald Trump threatened to dispatch the military to states that cannot quell the unrest.
- Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden plans to attend the funeral for George Floyd in Houston next week, Floyd’s family attorney Ben Crump said Tuesday in an interview posted on Facebook.
- Phil Wilson, acting executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission, chose not to accept salary and benefits for a temporary position leading one of Texas’ largest and most high-profile agencies. Instead, he continues to earn $636,694 from the Lower Colorado River Authority, more than double what the previous health commissioner made.
- Members of Congress in Texas and staff worry that the country's political dysfunction has rendered the federal government incapable of addressing police violence legislatively before the November elections.