A bombshell statement from a county law enforcement official during a media briefing about charges in the death of George Floyd drew immediate outrage and backlash on social media.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Thursday that charges were not yet filed against the police officer who allegedly caused Floyd’s death because of “other evidence” that did not support the filing of criminal charges.
Freeman said at the media briefing that the county needed to carefully investigate and not rush to judgement, despite the public clamor for the officer to be charged.
“It’s a violation of my ethics to talk and evaluate evidence before we announce our charging decision, and I will not do that. I will say this, that that video is graphic and horrific and terrible, and no person should do that, but my job in the end is to prove that he violated criminal statues,” Freeman said.
“And there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge,” he added.
“We need to wade through all of that evidence and to come to a meaningful determination,” he concluded, “and we are doing that to the best of our ability.”
Here’s the video of Freeman’s statement:
Minneapolis police and FBI speak on George Floyd’s death | USA TODAY
The statement appeared to be a response to a call from the mayor of Minneapolis on Wednesday for the police officer to be criminally charged in the controversial death.
“If you had done it, or I had done it, we’d be behind bars right now,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “We cannot turn a blind eye.”
Also on Thursday, the governor of Minnesota activated the National Guard in order to prevent the looting and rioting that followed upon protests in Minneapolis.
Here’s the statement from the mayor:
Minneapolis mayor calls for charges against arresting officer in death of George Floyd