Mugshots released of four cops charged over death of George Floyd

These are the four police officers charged over the death of unarmed and handcuffed black man George Floyd.

Protests and riots have broken out in cities across the US after video footage emerged of Derek Chauvin kneeling on the father’s neck for nearly nine minutes as he repeatedly cried ‘I can’t breathe’ on May 25.

The fired Minneapolis police officer was arrested on Friday and charged with third degree murder, but many demonstrators said this didn’t go far enough. They called for a more serious indictment and for the three other officers to be arrested.

Yesterday the charge was upgraded to second degree murder, and colleagues Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng were taken into custody and charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and second degree manslaughter.

Warning: Handcuffed black man dies after cop kneels on his neck

If convicted they could be each be sentenced to up to four decades in prison. The new second-degree murder charge alleges that Chauvin caused Mr Floyd’s death without intent while committing another felony, namely third-degree assault.

In comparison, the previous third-degree murder charge carries a maximum of 25 years. The multiple charges against each officer would offer a jury more options to find them guilty.

Yesterday the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office released the full autopsy report on Mr Floyd, which noted he had previously tested positive for COVID-19, but was though to be asymptomatic.

The report was released with the family’s permission after summary findings Monday that said he had a heart attack while being restrained by officers.

Demonstrations in cities across the US condemning racism and police brutality turned notably more subdued on the eve of today’s memorial service for Mr Floyd, kicking off a series of events to mourn the man whose death empowered a national movement.

Footage shows multiple police officers on top of George Floyd

Across the country more than 10,000 people have been arrested in connection with unrest.

More than dozen deaths have been reported as protests descended into chaos, with looters breaking into stores and people setting cars and buildings alight.

Protests yesterday were big but largely peaceful in California, where NBA stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson marched with protesters in Oakland.

Some demonstrators lay down to represent the amount of time Chauvin’s knee was pressed into Floyd’s neck while he pleaded for air.

Officers kept a mainly hands-off policy during the day even after curfews took effect.

The first of three memorial gatherings have been planned this afternoon in Minneapolis at a service where civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and family attorney Ben Crump will speak.

My Floyd’s body will then travel to Raeford, North Carolina, where he was born 46 years ago, for a public viewing and private family service Saturday.

There will be a large service on Monday in Houston, Texas, where the victim spent most of his life.

It will include addresses from Rev. Sharpton, Mr Crump, and family pastor Rev. Remus E. Wright. Former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden may also attend.

Mr Crump called the additional charges against the officers ‘a bittersweet moment’ and ‘a significant step forward on the road to justice’.

After the new charges were announced, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said the state and nation need to ‘seize the moment’ and use the wrenching events of the past week to confront the effects of racism, including unequal educational and economic opportunities.

He added: ‘I think this is probably our last shot, as a state and as a nation, to fix this systemic issue.’

Hundreds of protesters were in New York City’s Washington Square Park when the charges were announced.

Insisting all four officers should have been charged from the very start, demonstrator Jonathan Roldan said: ‘It’s not enough. Right now, we’re still marching because it’s not enough that they got arrested. There needs to be systematic change.’

The mood in New York turned somber later in the day after a police officer on an anti-looting patrol was ambushed by a man who walked up behind him and stabbed him in the neck.

That set off a struggle in which two other cops suffered gunshot injuries to their hands.

As President Donald Trump urged the nation’s governors to take a hard line against unrest, he tweeted: ‘LAW & ORDER!’

Yesterday an overpowering security force including officers from the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, the Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration the Bureau of Prisons and some 2,200 National Guard soldiers were in Washington DC.

Military vehicles were parked on streets near the White House, and an array of agencies kept watch from the air.

An FBI plane, an Army surveillance plane and a Park Police helicopter circled overhead.

At one point protesters began singing ‘Amazing Grace’ near the President’s home as they knelt in view officers in riot gear, chanting: ‘We are not going anywhere!’

Protester Jade Jones, 30, said the demonstrations would continue despite the new charges.

She added: ‘That’s the least they could do. It’s not going to wipe away 400 years of pain.’

As Trump continues to take flak over his handling of the crisis, the POTUS claimed he was the best president for black America since Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery in 1863.

This was after a bizarre photo op in which peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters and a priest were tear gassed so the President could pose in front of a damaged church with a Bible.

Trump’s former defence secretary Jim Mattis ripped his heavy-handed use of military force to quell protests near the White House.