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Third-Degree Murder Charge For George Floyd’s Death Dropped Against Former Officer Derek Chauvin

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A Minnesota judge dismissed the third-degree murder charge Wednesday against Derek Chauvin, the officer who pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck and killed him in May.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill ruled Wednesday that there was enough probable cause for the second-degree murder charge and manslaughter charge against Chauvin to continue at trial, according to the Associated Press (AP).

“In this court’s view, with one exception, the State has met its burden of showing probable cause that warrants proceeding to trial against each of these Defendants on each of the criminal charges the State has filed against them,” Cahill wrote, per the AP. Cahill upheld the other two charges.

Cahill also denied motions to dismiss the charges against the other three officers, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane, who were present during Floyd’s death. The three are charged with aiding and abetting, according to Fox News. (RELATED: Judge Denies Former Officer’s Request To Use 2019 Footage Of George Floyd Incident With Police As Evidence)

Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz applauded Cahill for upholding the other charges against Chauvin and the other officers, calling it a “step toward justice.”

Prosecutors argued there was enough probable cause to go to trial on all of the charges, claiming Chauvin intentionally assaulted Floyd, which is the core element of the second-degree murder charges, per Fox News.

Defense attorneys argued prosecutors lacked probably cause to charge the officers. Chauvin’s attorney argued he had no intent to kill Floyd.

Chauvin was seen in the now viral video kneeling against George Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes while Floyd told the officers he couldn’t breath. Chauvin was released from prison in October after posting a $1 million bond.