The third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin, in connection to the death of George Floyd, was dismissed by a judge Thursday.
Chauvin is the cop taped kneeling on the neck of Floyd amid an arrest that resulted in the death of the black man. It was also seen on the video how Floyd begged for his life as Chauvin subdued him, muttering the words 'I can't breathe.'
The motion to dismiss the charges of third-degree murder against Chauvin, a former police officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, was granted by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill.
According to Daily Mail, the 107-page ruling that Cahill wrote on his decision, he stated that the prosecutors did not have probable cause to charge Chauvin with third-degree murder. It was also noted in the ruling that there was no evidence proving that Chauvin's actions posed any danger to anyone except Floyd.
Despite the third-degree murder charge being dropped, Chauvin still faces all other charges related to Floyd's death. The charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter still stand after motions to dismiss them were denied by Cahill.
Moreover, the three other officers in the scene, who were also fired from service, still face the charges of aiding and abetting following the denial of their motions to dismiss.
In light of the judge's ruling, authorities have already geared up for the possible rise of more protests from people demanding justice for Floyd's death. Before the ruling was announced, authorities were seen boarding up Hennepin County Government Center, Yahoo! News reported.
On the other hand, the court ruling also stated that the third-degree murder charge's dismissal would stand for five days, allowing the state prosecutors to appeal the judge's decision.
Based on Minnesota law, a person may be found guilty of third-degree murder if the defendant causes another person's death by doing an act which is eminently dangerous to others, without regard for human life.
However, the charge is rarely used in Minnesota, but it carries a 25-year maximum prison sentence.
According to Cahill, for the third-degree murder charges to stand, the state needs to prove that Chauvin caused Floyd's death. Proof that Chauvin's intentional conduct that caused the death of Floyd is also eminently dangerous to other people is also needed, and that Chauvin did it without regard for human life.
Moreover, Cahill stated that the prosecution's evidence did not satisfy third-degree murder requirements since Chauvin's actions were explicitly directed at Floyd and were not eminently dangerous to anyone else. Even when he pressed Floyd's chest, throat and knelt on his neck to subdue Floyd, The Chicago Tribune reported.
'The evidence presented by the State does not indicate that Chauvin's actions we eminently dangerous to anyone other than Floyd,' the judge wrote.
It can be recalled that the death of George Floyd sparked protests and riots all over the United States, as people rallied to fight racial injustice and police brutality.