(Reuters) – Minnesota’s state attorney general said on Sunday he will lead the prosecution of the case involving the killing of George Floyd, the unarmed African-American man who died after a policeman knelt on his neck as he groaned “I can’t breathe.”
“It is with a large degree of humility and a great seriousness, I accept for my office the responsibility for leadership on this critical case involving the killing of George Floyd,” Ellison said in a tweet.
“We are going to bring to bear all the resources necessary to achieve justice in this case.”
Ellison will be working with Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who on Friday announced third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges against former police officer Derek Chauvin, who was shown in video footage using his knee to pin Floyd to the street.
Three other officers involved with Floyd’s death have not yet been charged. All four were fired from the police force.
Floyd’s family had previously requested Ellison take over the case from Freeman, who in his capacity as county attorney typically works closely with Minneapolis police, local media reported.
People “don’t trust the process,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said at a Sunday news conference announcing the appointment of Ellison. “They don’t believe justice can be served,” he said, adding that they believe the system works to deny “justice to communities of color.”
Reporting by Bill Tarrant; Editing by Lincoln Feast.