Charges against Derek Chauvin as region and country await verdict


If the charges against ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the May 25 death of George Floyd seem unknown, it’s because some of them don’t exist in New York City.

Different states have different laws and in the case of Chauvin, 45, all charges force the jury to conclude that Chauvin’s actions were a “significant causal factor” in Floyd’s death and that his use of force was unreasonable. .

The costs include:

• Second Degree Murder (Unintentional): Under Minnesota law, this is when a person causes the death of another person, without intent to kill anyone, by attempting to commit another crime. (apart from charges of sexual conduct or a shootout in a car). He faces up to 40 years in prison. In New York City, all murder convictions have a maximum of life imprisonment.

• Third Degree Murder: This charge does not exist in New York State. Under Minnesota law, it is when a person, without intent to kill, causes the death of another person by committing an act “eminently dangerous to others and showing a depraved spirit, without regard. for human life ”. He faces up to 25 years in prison.

• Second degree homicide. Under Minnesota law, it is when a person negligently “creates unreasonable risk and knowingly takes the risk of causing death or serious bodily harm to another”. He faces up to 10 years in prison. The indictment in New York carries an indefinite sentence of 5 to 15 years.

As the trial unfolds in Minnesota, the case is under close scrutiny in the capital region where deadly and heartbreaking clashes between police and black civilians have led to decades of mistrust.

Floyd’s death inspired countless protests last year in the region and the country. Protests took place in Albany and Troy last week. One of them, held Wednesday to protest the police murder of Daunte Wright, 20, in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center, included a confrontation between police and protesters at South Station. Some protesters stayed at the station for days to keep attention on last week’s clashes and to demand the dismissal of an Albany policeman who grabbed the protesters’ light and megaphone.

“I have been following the trial against Derek Chauvin and I think the prosecutors have done their job to secure a conviction on the main charge in this case,” Albany County District Attorney David Soares said. first black district attorney in Albany’s history. “The jury has an important job to do, and they are equipped with all the facts to do the job. When it comes to our local preparations, we still support the rights of First Amendment citizens to demonstrate peacefully. As long as there are no attempts to injure officers or damage property, we maintain our approach to support peaceful protests. Violators who cross this line will be held responsible. “

The region has been the scene of a number of high-profile police killings and clashes that have left serious injuries.

On August 29, 2018, Ellazar Williams, 19 at the time, was shot by police in the upper left back, leaving him paralyzed under his chest. An Albany County grand jury has cleared the since-retired detective James Olsen, who said Williams was armed with a large hunting knife and charged him in a court outside the former Tony Clement Center for Education at 395 Elk Street. Police said Williams was trying to pick up a knife as he ran. At the time, police were looking for suspects during a confrontation at a Central Avenue store. Williams’ attorneys said enhanced surveillance video showed Williams ran away from Olsen, fell and stood up to run away again before shots were fired. Soares dropped the charges against Williams after Olsen was cleared. A federal civil case is pending.

On April 17, 2016, Edson Thevenin, 37, was shot dead by police in Troy following a traffic check for DWI and a police chase that ended at the Collar town bridge . Patrol sergeant Randall French said Thevenin’s Honda Civic crashed and slammed it against his patrol car, forcing him to open fire. An internal investigation, kept under wraps, revealed that French forced Thévenin’s vehicle into a barrier and opened fire as it moved, unblocked, then lied about it. French died last April. Prosecutors for Attorney General Letitia James said former Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove rushed the case to a grand jury in a lime bath. Abelove was tried and acquitted by a judge on official misconduct and perjury charges.

On April 2, 2015, Donald “Dontay” Ivy, 39, a mentally ill and unarmed black man with a history of heart disease, died following a clash with Albany police. He was shocked with a stun gun, chased and tackled as he walked down a street in Arbor Hill. Police said they confronted Ivy because he had his hands up his sleeves as he walked down a city street. The city of Albany paid $ 625,000 to settle a civil lawsuit. April 2016, an unarmed black man.

On July 8, 1984, in Albany, a mentally ill, 35-year-old Jesse Davis was shot dead by police in his apartment in Arbor Hill. The officers, who claimed Davis pounced on them with a knife and fork, were cleared. In 1993, the Times Union reported that a lawyer for Davis’ family found a photo of Davis at the scene. He had a key case in one hand, a Matchbox toy truck in the other.


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