The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and Legal Rights Center are grateful to Attorney General Keith Ellison for filing stronger and legally justified charges against former officer Derek Chauvin, and for bringing charges against all of the officers involved in the murder of George Floyd.

The Attorney General Wednesday filed second-degree murder charges against former Minneapolis Police Officer Chauvin, and aiding and abetting second-degree murder against the other three officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Keung and Tou Thao.

The LRC and ACLU-MN believe strongly that the higher charges against Chauvin and the charges against the other three officers are legally justified and necessary. It’s important to note that aiding and abetting second-degree murder is a very serious charge that carries the same potential sentence as second-degree murder. It considers the three officers to be as legally culpable as Chauvin.

The ACLU-MN and Legal Rights Center had called on the Governor to appoint the Attorney General. The initial third-degree murder charges brought against Chauvin by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office were grossly inadequate, and the lack of charges against any of the other officers was inexcusable.

We continue to call for an independent prosecution housed in the Attorney General’s Office not associated with the Hennepin County Prosecutor’s Office.

We will continue working for justice for George Floyd, and rooting out racism in our policing and criminal-legal system.