Media Contact

Lynette Kalsnes,, 612-270-8531

October 22, 2020

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill today rejected attempts by Derek Chauvin and other former Minneapolis police officers to walk away from the criminal charges against them. Judge Cahill dismissed a less serious charge against Chauvin, but ruled that second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter will remain. The judge also refused to dismiss charges against the other officers, so cases against all four for the May 25 killing of George Floyd move ahead.


Statement from ACLU of Minnesota Executive Director John Gordon:

“Early in the legal process, the ACLU of Minnesota asked Gov. Walz to appoint Attorney General Ellison to take over the case when the Hennepin County Attorney charged Derek Chauvin with only a third-degree murder count, and failed to charge the other three officers at all. The ACLU-MN argued that more severe charges were necessary to seek justice for George Floyd, and that the way the law is written, the third-degree charge wasn’t likely to stand. That is what Judge Cahill found today.

“The ACLU of Minnesota expected today’s ruling and believes it’s an appropriate step in this legal process. This is a routine, procedural part of criminal cases. The judge’s ruling means that the most serious charges against Derek Chauvin remain, as do the charges against the other three officers, so the case against them is moving ahead. Today was a good day for achieving justice for George Floyd.”