Reaction from Fox News contributor Ted Williams and Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano reacted Friday to Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin being charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter over the death of George Floyd as riots and protests continue in the city.
“Third-degree murder is the same thing as manslaughter, which is a reckless indifference to human life. Probable cause statement shows that the knee was on the neck for more than four minutes, that the other officers said to him, ‘Do you think you should lay off of him?’ That one of the officers took his pulse and there was no pulse and Officer Chauvin kept his knee on the neck even after there was no pulse,” Napolitano said on “Bill Hemmer Reports.” “Now, that behavior to me is an intent to kill, which is second-degree murder. What’s the difference? One has 20 five years in jail as a max. The other has 40 years in jail as a max.”
“So I don’t know why they chose this bizarre third-degree murder slash manslaughter instead of second degree, which is what the evidence seems to show, their own evidence seems to show should be,” Napolitano added.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the charges Friday afternoon, saying the evidence against Chauvin includes video from a bystander’s cell phone, body camera footage as well as statements from witnesses and a preliminary report from the medical examiner.
Floyd, who is black, was handcuffed by Chauvin, who is white, and pushed to the ground. A cell phone video shows Floyd’s head is turned to the side and he does not appear to be resisting. Chauvin has his knee pressed to the back of Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd is seen gasping for air and begging Chauvin to stop. He does not. Bystanders are also heard shouting at Chauvin to take his knee off Floyd’s neck.
Napolitano said the four days to bring charges against Chauvin were “pretty quick” but agreed with former D.C. detective and defense attorney Ted Williams that the officers should have been arrested on the scene.
“I think four days is pretty quick even given what was happening in the streets. However, as my colleague and longtime boyhood friend Ted Williams has just said, the tape is so crystal clear that they probably should have been arrested immediately, either by the state authorities or by the feds,” Napolitano said. “There’s no, there’s no getting around that tape. And the duration of the knee and the poor man begging for the right to breathe. And then mocked him while he was begging. They said, ‘you can’t breathe. How can you talk?’ I mean, their behavior was was criminal.”
Fox News’ Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report.