Fox News legal contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano questioned the “bizarre” third-degree murder and manslaughter charges brought against a former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd.
Napolitano, along with attorney Ted Williams, appeared on Friday’s edition of “Bill Hemmer Reports” to discuss Hennepin County prosecutor Mike Freeman’s announcement of charges against former officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
Responding to Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer’s question about the charges, Napolitano explained why he felt they should have been more severe.
“The probable cause statement shows that the knee was on the neck for more than 4 minutes, that the other officer said to him, ‘do you think you should lay off of him?’ That one of the officers took his pulse and there was no pulse and the officer kept his knee on the neck even after there was no pulse,” Napolitano explained.
“Now that to me that is an attempt to kill, which is second-degree murder,” he continued. “What is the difference? One has 25 years in jail as a max and the other has 40 years in jail as a max.”
Calling the current charges “bizarre,” Napolitano contended that the “evidence seems to show” that a second-degree charge would have been more warranted.
“There there is no getting around that tape and the duration of the knee and the poor man begging for the right to breathe,” said the judge. “And they mocked him while he was begging. They said, ‘You can’t breathe? How can you talk?’ Their behavior was criminal.” (RELATED: Armed Citizens Stand Guard Against Looters In Minneapolis)
However, Napolitano disagreed with those who would call for first-degree murder charges, which would mean “a planned and plotted murder.”
“I can’t imagine this was planned and plotted,” he said. “They just confronted him on the scene.”