all four officers charged

Here's how Canada reacted after all four police officers charged in George Floyd killing

Prosecutors charged Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with second-degree murder on Wednesday, more than a week after the cop pressed his knee against George Floyd's neck, resulting in fatal asphyxiation.

The other three police officers present at the scene — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — have also now been charged with aiding and abetting a second-degree murder.

All four police officers had already been fired.

Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, but the criminal complaint filed Wednesday said that the charges were upgraded due to the "prolonged period" in which he restrained Floyd.

"Officer Chauvin's restraint of Mr. Floyd in this manner for a prolonged period was a substantial causal factor in Mr. Floyd losing consciousness, constituting substantial bodily harm, and Mr. Floyd's death as well," the criminal complaint said.

In Minnesota, the maximum sentence for a third-degree murder is 25 years and a fine of up to $40,000. A second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years.

Protests against the death of George Floyd, police brutality and systemic anti-Black racism have taken place across Canada this week, with thousands of Canadians taking to the streets.

Today, Canadians have taken to social media to express their relief that the four police officers involved in George Floyd's death are being held accountable for their actions.

Although some Canadians are disappointed that the decision to upgrade Chauvin's charges and charge the other three police officers present at the scene came so late.

"This [is] good news, imagine if it had been done a week ago," one person wrote.

Some Canadians even feel that the charge against officer Derek Chauvin should be upgraded to first-degree murder.

Although charging Chauvin with first-degree murder would require proving that he had premeditated Floyd's murder — a difficult task for any lawyer considering the two had no prior connection except for "crossing paths" at a nightclub they both worked at.

"I really wish that guy got charged with first-degree murder, but sadly evidence of premeditation is circumstantial at best," one Canadian wrote.

And some Canadians are acknowledging that while the upgraded murder charge is an important step forward, there's still plenty of work to be done on addressing systemic anti-Black racism across North America.

More protests against the death of George Floyd and anti-Black racism are scheduled to take place across Canada this week, including multiple demonstrations in Toronto scheduled for this weekend.

Lead photo by

David Geitgey Sierralup

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