Where Things Stand: Charges Over George Floyd’s Death

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: "Kneel for Justice not for Death" is written on the road outside the Cup Foods, where George Floyd was killed in police custody, on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. People have gather... MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: "Kneel for Justice not for Death" is written on the road outside the Cup Foods, where George Floyd was killed in police custody, on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. People have gathered at the site since Floyd was killed earlier this week. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) MORE LESS
May 29, 2020 1:51 p.m.

The police officer who pinned George Floyd to the ground with his knee while Floyd repeatedly shouted that he couldn’t breathe has been arrested.

The Associated Press just reported the news. We’ll get you more details as we learn them, but it is still unclear what he’s been charged with.

If you’re reading this, you don’t need me to outline the events that have transpired in Minnesota, and the White House, over the last 24 hours.

Protests over the death of George Floyd escalated over night. Trump invoked a bloody, racist refrain about the unrest on Twitter, suggesting the authorities have his permission to physically harm demonstrators. His war with the social media giant continues.

As has been the case time and time again, video footage of the incident is shocking and a damning indictment of the conduct of white officers involved in the death of a black man. The arrest of at least one officer involved comes after days of uncertainty over whether the police, including Derek Chauvin, would be charged over the incident.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had called for charges to be brought against the officers. State attorney general Keith Ellison predicted this morning there would be criminal charges soon. The FBI is involved. But Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman called for patience yesterday as his office continued to investigate the killing. Some interpreted the delay as another tired tale of resistance to justice in the wake of police killings of black men, especially when coupled with the Minneapolis Police Department’s initial portrait of Floyd’s death as a “medical incident.”

According to Trump, the National Guard has just arrived in the city plagued by days of justified unrest. This initial arrest appears to be a crucial step toward protesters’ push for justice. We’ll keep you updated on the charges.

Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following today:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Matt Shuham wrote about the origin of the “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” refrain that President Trump tweeted early Friday morning. Twitter pinned a warning label on the tweet, saying it violated a Twitter rule against “glorifying violence.”

Tierney Sneed is working on a piece debunking the logic behind two anti-vote by mail columns that were tweeted out by members of the White House press shop this week.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

The governor of Minnesota issued an apology to CNN president Jeff Zucker on Friday morning after state police arrested a team of CNN reporters covering the protests in Minneapolis. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) called the arrests “unacceptable.”

President Trump admitted, once again, that part of his war against mail-in-voting in based in the myth that the practice disproportionately helps Democrats’ — and hurts Republicans’ — election prospects. Trump’s made the claim before. The tweet was just the latest in a string of attacks he’s launched against absentee voting as more states expand vote-by-mail programs to accommodate for holding elections during a pandemic.

If You Read Anything On COVID-19 Today, Read This

Kate Riga reports on the befuddling case of a Republican Pennsylvania lawmaker who didn’t tell his Democratic colleagues that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Rep. Andrew Lewis (R) only told the Republican caucus about his diagnosis, and none of the Republican lawmakers felt the need to fill Democrats in.

Earlier reporting on Republicans behaving badly amid COVID-19

Coming Up

11:30 a.m. ET: The governor of Minnesota held a press briefing amid protests over the death of George Floyd.

2:00 p.m. ET: Trump will hold a press briefing.

4:00 p.m. ET: Trump will host a roundtable discussion with executives about reopening the economy.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Trump Tweets Video Declaring That ‘The Only Good Democrat Is A Dead Democrat’ — Cristina Cabrera

What We Are Reading

The Far Right Wants To Make Its Shared ‘Boogaloo’ Fantasy Of Violent Civil War A Reality — David Neiwert

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