Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25 while arresting him, killing Floyd in a now-viral video. Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The New Yorker reported that protesters “decried their insufficient severity,” and the charges were later upgraded to second-degree murder. While some have praised the upgraded charges, others have wondered how (or whether) they will stick in court. Chauvin has now pushed to have the charges against him dropped, claiming Floyd died from pre-existing health conditions exacerbated by drug use, according to CNN. Due in part to Minnesota’s “lesser offense” rule, however, Chauvin is almost guaranteed to go to jail.