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Walz: Minnesota attorney general to take lead in Floyd case

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Sunday that the state’s attorney general will take the lead in any prosecutions related to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in handcuffs when a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck as he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.

Walz’s decision to have Attorney General Keith Ellison take the lead comes after requests from activists, some City Council members and a civil rights group, who said putting Ellison on the case would send a strong message that justice will be vigorously pursued. Walz said Ellison has the experience needed to lead the prosecution.

Earlier Sunday, Freeman said that he had asked Ellison to help him in the case, and Ellison agreed they would be full partners.

“There have been recent developments in the facts of the case where the help and expertise of the Attorney General would be valuable,” Freeman said. He did not elaborate.

Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers who were involved have not been charged, though Freeman and Ellison have said additional charges are possible. Chauvin and the three other officers were fired last week.

A message left with Ellison’s office wasn’t immediately returned.

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