ST. PAUL — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will be joining the case against Derek Chauvin, the white Minneapolis police officer filmed kneeling on local 46-year-old George Floyd’s neck in the moments leading up to his death, Gov. Tim Walz announced Sunday evening, May 31.
The move comes after members of Floyd’s family, local elected officials and state lawmakers requested Walz appoint Ellison to the lead the case. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman will remain on the case and work with the attorney general moving forward.
Speaking to the press Sunday night, Walz prefaced the announcement with comments on the need to restore faith in the criminal justice system. The governor appears to see Ellison — formerly a U.S. congressional representative for Minnesota — as instrumental in that process, saying he “needs to lead this case.”
“When I spoke to the Floyd family, they were very clear. They wanted the system to work for them. They wanted to believe that there was trust. And they wanted to believe that the facts would be heard, and that justice would be served. And I can tell you in Minnesota, having Keith Ellison as the lead on this case, that will happen,” Walz said.
Ellison said he and Freeman already have a working relationship and this his office already coordinates with county-level prosecutors on a frequent basis. He declined to take any questions on charges against Chauvin, which currently include third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“We are going to bring to bear all the resources necessary to achieve justice in this case. And that means we won’t leave any resources on the sideline” Ellison said.
This story will be updated.