Minnesota Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith EllisonSharpton eulogizes Daunte Wright: ‘Tags of racism’ have expired The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – After historic verdict, Chauvin led away in handcuffs Minnesota AG: Chauvin’s verdict is ‘accountability, which is the first step towards justice’ MORE said on Sunday that George Floyd bears no responsibility for his death.
In an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday, CBS’s Scott Pelley asked Ellison if Floyd, in his view, bears any responsibility for what happened the day in May 2020 that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine minutes. Floyd was pronounced dead soon after.
Ellison responded unequivocally, telling Pelley “No, he doesn’t.”
The interview comes less than a week after a jury found Chauvin guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
The encounter between Chauvin and Floyd was captured on video and Floyd is seen arguing with officers who ordered him to enter a police car.
Pelley pushed Ellison on this fact, saying “If he’d gotten in the car, he’d be alive today.”
Ellison did not change his interpretation, telling Pelley that “police officers are paid and trained to deal with people who are having problems.”
He said if officers are allowed “to use deadly force on people who are just having a bad day, then we’re going to be in a very, very lethal situation.”
“We need officers who have the judgment and the ability to discern what somebody is going through so that people survive these encounters,” he added.
Ellison also noted that Floyd was not armed, and told Pelley that “he never threatened a soul, he never struck out on — against anybody.”
He said Floyd “did everything the officers said” except enter the car because of his claustrophobia and anxiety.
On body camera video, Floyd can be heard telling officers that he was claustrophobic.
Ellison also questioned how Chauvin could “justify” not rendering CPR and not heeding Floyd’s statements that he could not breathe, concluding “So I’m hard-pressed to find how George Floyd bears responsibility for what happened here.”
Chauvin is currently being held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, which is the only maximum security prison in Minnesota, according to The New York Times. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16, and faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
Chauvin’s trial spanned three weeks and concluded with 10 hours of jury deliberation.