Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman spoke to the media today about the tragic death of George Floyd. He correctly stressed the need to see every piece of evidence in the case against four arresting police officers before jumping to a conclusion.
During a press conference, Freeman mentioned that there is evidence he’s seen that may exonerate Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The officer was videotaped with his knee on the neck of the deceased:
“My job, in the end, is to prove he violated a criminal statute, and there’s other evidence that does not support a criminal charge. We need to wade through all of that evidence and to come through with a meaningful determination, and we’re doing that to the best of our ability.”
Freeman also said he couldn’t respond to a reporter’s comment that Floyd was clearly having trouble breathing during the arrest:
“It’s a violation of my ethics to talk and evaluate evidence before we announce our charging decision, and I will not do that. I will say this, that that video is graphic and horrific and terrible, and no person should do that.”
After outrage about Freeman’s comments during the press conference, he later backtracked in a statement (see below) to say it’s “critical to review all evidence” to establish a “full picture” of the events surrounding the death of George Floyd during an arrest by the Minneapolis Police Officers.
Minnesota prosecutor's office issues "clarification" on his statement about George Floyd's death, says it's "critical to review all the evidence" because it will come out at trial pic.twitter.com/3yclV5kVFu
— BNO News (@BNONews) May 29, 2020
Even though Freeman backtracked his comments, what was picked up on social media is the feeling that the four police officers will not be punished for the death of George Floyd.
The fact is that lab results on cause of death have not been completed:
This perhaps relates to the press conference delay today. https://t.co/xnELlVtDsh
— Tony Webster (@webster) May 28, 2020
Protests have broken out in cities across America. Freeman just put gasoline on a fire with his comments.