George Floyd: 3rd or 2nd Degree Murder? UPDATED (LegalEagle’s Real Law Review)

George Floyd: 3rd or 2nd Degree Murder? UPDATED (LegalEagle’s Real Law Review)

*Updated to provide clarity about the Felony Murder Rule. See 8:00. The AG has upgraded the charges against Chauvin and the other police officers. Why?
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85 Responses

  1. LegalEagle says:

    See the update at 8:00. The law is complicated. Thanks to all the Legal Eagles who provided feedback and asked for clarification.

    • Threw The Looking Glass says:

      LegalEagle jim from the office?!.

    • same s u says:

      @Dev Why do you say That?! What Exactly makes you Say That?!! He is only telling the Laws such as they are in Minnesota. What is Leftist About Anything that he said? You are a flippin Idiot! Laws have no Political leanings unless the Persons Writing them Did! He didn’t Write them. He’s only Explaining what the different Charges are and, what they mean! I Really don’t think you should be watching his Videos since you quite obviously Don’t know what you’re Talking About. Nor, are you Intelligent enough to understand the meaning of Anything he just said!

    • digitalconsciousness says:

      In one of you videos you say it would be unlikely if Floyd and Cauvin knew each other. they worked at the same night club as security.

    • XxMonsterOpsxX says:

      Do you think the charges are going to be dropped to 3rd degree murder? I believe it will get dropped due to not having enough evidence to prove the intent of killing George Floyd. The only evidence of 2nd degree murder is he is on his neck, but that is not any thing that will hold up in court. Also I believe this trial is not going to happen for a few months/years because they will keep playing the “It wont be a fair trial” card. if you see this what do you think?

    • k vooo says:

      @First Name Last Name he is cute

  2. Joseph Quintana says:

    Can we get a video on how they will go about finding a jury? This cases seems tough to find those who haven’t made their minds up yet.

  3. mini roundabout in brum says:

    Can I just thank you for not showing George Floyd dying. I’ve seen it once from the original report that was once too many times. But it’s not respectful for everyone to keep showing clips of it for views.

    • Luna Kat says:

      Thank you for noticing.

    • Sebas Davidson says:

      @Cat Cat Why are you in denial? Do you not care about the murder of an innocent man?

    • Mike Sakaru says:

      @Sebas Davidson Ignore Cat Cat, people. He’s just going into various comments saying whatever will trigger a negative reaction. In some places he calls people racist for saying he wasn’t murdered, others he says he wasn’t murdered to get a rise. Don’t give him the attention for which he is so desperate.

    • Samuel Kim says:

      Mike Sakaru he’s a lonely incel, pay him no mind

    • Sannin says:

      @Sebas Davidson While his Death was Horrific please dont say he was an innocent man. At the time of the Murder of George Floyd he had fentanyl, methamphetamine and THC in his system which was the reason the police were called in the first place. Not to mention his Very Violent past. For god sakes this man held a Gun to a pregnant women’s stomach and rightfully went to jail for it. I am sure she doesn’t want to see him made into a innocent victim. I say again that his death is inexcusable while committing a crime or not he was not armed and defenseless. I know his past should be irrelevant to what happened people are making him out to be a hero/innocent victim/martyr. Its hard to listen to his family talk and think this man was the sweet wonderful man that wouldn’t hurt a fly but his record speaks the opposite.

  4. Lord Jask says:

    I could only imagine how difficult it is being a lawyer, I have to give respect to someone able to do what I couldn’t and try not to be bias, I love history but know I couldn’t be a good historian because i know innately I am one sided, if something goes against something I believe I wouldn’t be able to keep it from forming my opinion. I am good at looking at both sides and am often the devil’s advocate just to try and broaden a conversation. But damn if sometimes it’s just beyond me… anyways I’m just rambling now. I want to say thank you for continuing conversation, it’s a good thing during any time 🙂

  5. Froggy Chair says:

    2020 summed up perfectly in one sentence : 2:18 “I never thought that would happen but here we are….”

  6. Spoon says:

    16:30 so, one could say that due to the existence of the “blue wall” one could argue that police witnessing the crimes of others would be complicit with while not formal, an assumed willingness to assist

  7. FretboardToAsh says:

    16:40 “As the president asks law enforcement to do…” You can tell he’s pissed about it if he’s bringing this up.

    • RustyDust101 says:

      Yepp, you could absolutely see it as he pauses the recording for a second. I bet he had to rinse out his mouth as he’d just thrown up in it a little at those words.

    • Salene Brom says:


  8. bmoney544 says:

    You know the world’s messed up when there’s laws preventing you from stopping in just acts by police officers. Something needs to change here. Also they are obligated to render aid since that is their job. To serve and protect. It’s even on their badge. I think charges should be laid especially since this isn’t the first time for some of them.

    • Momohhhhhh says:

      @rolder50 The voice of reason. There’s no perfect system, and of course what happened was awful and continues to be frustrating. Allowing people to interfere with police business is NOT the answer – that would be a BAD thing in the vast majority of cases. That’s obviously not what people want to hear right now but we have to be better than throwing context and statistics out of the window every time we find a weakness in the way things are currently run.

    • Keith Chandler says:

      “Also they are obligated to render aid since that is their job. To serve and protect.” While they probably should do so, and in many cases they do, the outcome of Warren v. District of Columbia (and upheld many times since, notably in the Parkland shooting) states that the government and police do not in fact have a duty to protect any individual at all. This is one of the strongest cases for protecting the 2nd amendment.

    • Patrick Elliott says:

      @Kaipyro67ALT Lets look at another case, which my brother was clearly aware of, since it happened to the family of a close friend. So, to start, the police where looking for a suspect in a neighborhood, where my brother’s friend lived. This friend had his “own” brother, and his wife, visiting at the time, and staying at the house, while he was at work. The brother heard some noise in the back yard, and noted someone, in plain clothes, fumbling around in the back yard. The brother yelled, “Heh, who are you and what are you doing here?”, through a screen door, and was immediately shot, multiple times. Other cops then “converged” on the location, where they proceeded to ransack the house, looking for something to justify what happened (it would seem). The wife was a certified nurse, and asked to do what was needed to stabilize her husband. They wouldn’t let her. They also a) delayed calling an ambulance, b) refused to do anything for him themselves. He bled out. All they found in the house was some legally owned guns, though one was a new one, which hadn’t yet been registered, and was in a class which, despite it being modified so it couldn’t fire automatic, they “classed” as illegal.

      After the court case that resulted a) the last gun was never returned, b) no real compensation, of any kind was offered, c) the cop that shot him was never charged with a crime, and d) while fired from that precinct, he got new job in less than a week.

      Oh, and to be clear, this was “despite” the jury actually being shown that, due to the lighting in the back yard, including an automatic light, it was *impossible* to see someone through the screen, so there was no way the cop could have seen someone “threatening him” (which was his defense of this action). No one else involved, despite all of them ignoring their original task to invade this house, and let an innocent person bleed to death, where censured, fired, or charged.

      Needless to say, sadly, the owner of the house, and his brother, where, I believe my own brother said, Latino. Though I might be wrong about that, and the other minority alternative would be not just as bad, but arguably, maybe worse.

      So, apparently, its possible to be unconscious, dying, and not even suspected of a crime (just being in the wrong place at the wrong time and annoying a thug), to be “too dangerous” to even call medical assistance.

    • link 4448 says:

      @Koala Nectar 7 minutes. “I can’t breathe” WTF are you on

    • NCR Trooper says:

      to mnay people who dont know whats legal and what not will get in the way of police

  9. the lesser junta says:

    “i never thought that that would be the case but here we are.” now if that doesn’t sum up 2020 i don`t know what will.

  10. Joseph Abraham says:

    I wonder about the Jury Selection. I’d love to hear what the prosecution would look for in a “peer group” that would represent George Floyd. What’s their demographic, socio-economic status, ethnicity, etc. Then, what is the “peer group” for the former officer?
    I think the two groups would speak more to the split of the nation.

    • Zack Estin says:

      defense will probably ask for a bench trial if they want a better chance to get him off or a low sentence. even though famously police brutality cases often go to a jury because its almost never that 12 people agree that the police under current stress taking X action wasnt justified in some world, it would be probably hard for them to find an unbiased jury in this case.

    • JS M says:

      This case will be won or lost by the defense during jury selection. Especially with social media nowadays. Everyone already made up their minds, before all the facts came out. Probably best to look for people too old to be on Twitter or FB.

    • Danger Russ says:

      @Brandon Chutt Largely, in my opinion, because most of the programs designed to “help” poor people usually end up incentivizing dependency on those programs, which actually results in poor people staying poor for longer AND dependent on those social programs.

    • Ben Cofield says:

      @Brandon Chutt Which is strange to me because a lot of the proposals would also help a lot of middle class Americans

    • Native East says:

      Not getting emotional but only dealing with questions that needs answers why are many black people poor? Does it has anything to do with government events in history that held them back? Also why are black woman and white woman on government assistance for extended periods of time? Does it has anything to do with the government assistance not truly assisting them? Who pays for the baby sitters while these woman work or find work? Who pays the bills until these woman could truly stand on their own? If the children’s fathers aren’t in their lives should men get an incentive from the government to step up and replace these missing fathers? I mean how could we end this cycle with out being barbaric and saying let’s cut off government assistance completely. We all mature enough to know sex happens it’s the most natural part of life so let’s not get unconventional.

  11. Optimist Prime says:

    4 cops have a person on the ground, hands cuffed behind his back with one of them with their knee on his neck, while George telling him “I can’t breathe” and yet simply because they are cops means that this maybe justified. I understand policing is dangerous but there are procedures to follow. “I can’t breathe” means that he is not following protocol.

    • John Brodeur says:

      There are more pizza delivery guys killed every year than police. They fear for their lives when they see your phone or wallet. Scared of their own shadows chicken shits. The “protectors” I mean. Scared school yard bullies with job security.

    • Blucksy 20-04 says:

      @John Brodeur have you ever been a pizza deliverer because you seem to have a twisted idea of reality

    • Blucksy 20-04 says:

      @John Brodeur a simple Google search shows that per 100, 000 10 pizza men are killed while police officers die 38 per 100,000
      You may have seen more pizza men died but that is because there are more of them

    • BLKwinz says:

      @link 4448 Yes? The person I replied to stated that a suspect complaining was PROOF of police mishandling the situation and that’s laughably false.

    • Nikki😀😃😄 says:

      @Blucksy 20-04 , because you’re a police you’re justifying the action of Derek. There are several videos including body cams showed that Floyd didn’t resist any arrest. The video also showed three policemen kneeling on Floyd while the other police Toa stand guard for the other three. There were two separate autopsies report, one from the FBI and one from the family where both are inconsistent. Moreover, Derek had 18 complaints in 19 years exclude Floyd’s death. Derek’s involves with multiple shooting and the death of Wayne Reyes. Did you know that Derek and Floyd works at the same night club? Did you know that Toa sister, Kellie Chauvin his Derek’s wife? When I look at all the evidence, plus the video one could say it’s premeditated murder.

  12. Ben Weaver says:

    When i first heard the charges I was furious it was only third degree. He had multiple opportunities to disengage and chose not to. That choice to not disengage was also a choice to kill George Floyd. 2nd Degree seems right. It wasn’t premeditated but he chose not to disengage even when people around him told him to stop, even when Floyd falls unconscious.

    • Ricky Janzen says:

      @philonetic I agree that 3rd degree would be a much easier conviction. However, I think I remember hearing the prosecutor say they upgraded to 2nd degree felony murder not because he suddenly, in the moment, decided to kill Floyd, but more along the lines that his “control” of Floyd wasn’t department procedure and therefore illegal (assault) and Floyd died during the course of this assault. If that’s the case, it comes down more to proving what is or isn’t lawful procedures than proving any of the ex-officer’s actual intent.

    • E C says:

      Super Fire 64 Gaming
      No he isn’t saying that. He’s saying it’s 2nd degree as it wasn’t planned but there was in-the-moment intent

    • NCR Trooper says:

      you really think he intentionally wanted to kill floyd

    • erp herp says:

      @Daniel Seredin stupid rebuttal, if I willfully Scared you knowing that you had heart problems I murdered you. Now before you try and counter with the idea that derek didnt know floyd could have had heart issues, Im not medical professional nor a professional educator but I do recall middle and highschool biology classes stating how the brain needed blood flow to function otherwise the body as a whole would die if enough time passed. Are you going to tell me that police departments Hire potential LEOs with less than middle school education? smells like a troll, lazy one at that.

    • erp herp says:

      @Cat Cat as your role model would say with puckered lips “Wrong”, it has been clearly and definitively stated that he died from asphyxiation from dereks actions. dont make me get the spray bottle.

  13. Lebo Mokhethi says:

    From South Africa, I can confirm that this has affected a lot of us as well.

    • Liam Moss says:

      @Boof {-}7 Fellow south african here, always good to see others around the internet. Imo the divide in SA that not a lot of people mention is strongly based on financial status/classism, while racism is always a big issue here at the bottom level of poverty there is no difference in your skin color, white or black we all struggle to make ends meet and keep food on the table, while others are so rich that they can afford to pay R10K for a pair of jeans. The poverty line unites us not as whites or blacks or indians etc but as men and women who are just trying to get to the next day

    • The Truth Hurts says:

      Was that before or after the murder of over 100000 white people? How about that farm attack? That killed a brother of my two best friends. Chopped him into pieces for being white..

      What was that? The shooting at men and women going to and from the mines for “being white” the shooting at the aid cars because “the have hurt whites in them” shall I go on?

    • Ab Panda says:

      @Boof {-}7 ya might be racist intentions but there is much more information than just it being racist. Their argument mostly are that those farms belonged to their great parents who were living thru the apartheid Era of SA and had their lands stolen, and many being lynched if they tried to fight to keep it. Plenty of history to go thru than to just label it as straight racism.

    • Native East says:

      The Truth Hurts I hate to say this but what comes around goes around. Revenge killings is a universal unwritten law. The past comes back to haunt everyone. That’s why it’s very important to treat people as you would like to be treated initially. So later down the line there would be more sharing and caring than staring and glaring in hate.

    • Gurjot Saran says:

      Native East you can’t say “what goes around comes around” when it affects people that weren’t even BORN at the time. Granted, apartheid ended fairly recently around 1990, and Europeans still own a disproportionate amount of land in South Africa.

      Still, most of the people where just born INTO the situation, they are not the ones that specifically created it through direct oppression, they just benefited from it. That is not an excuse for for any African to attack Europeans in SA though, you wouldn’t kill somebody just because they’re dad did something. You also wouldn’t kill someone because they share the same skin tone of what another guy did. Sorry, but that is kinda racist.

  14. Keiya says:

    “What if a bystander stepped in and tried to stop the tragedy? What legal repercussions could they face?” None. US law generally leaves dead people alone.

    • A Veronica Sawyer-Heather Chandler Sandwich says:

      @Norbert Csecs honestly, if his death hadn’t blown up the way it has, they probably would have.

    • Soncelia Byrd says:

      The Egg There is no way anyone could have helped him or anyone in that situation when police smell blood! Notice the cop standing guard making damn sure no one approached to help and it is also why they all are charged! You would be dead had you approached to render aid and that’s the reality in this country! Interfering with a police officer in the line of duty!

    • Soncelia Byrd says:

      That’s a really good one🙌

    • Merlin Fourever says:

      @Soncelia Byrd the police were setting up a situation where the only way the public could stop what was going on is to fire on them from a distance, which is highly unlikely.

      Perhaps it shouldn’t be.

    • LtdEcho says:

      It really hurts that this comment is so undeniably true.

  15. Ben Reilly says:

    The *”Aiding and Abetting”* charge apparently comes from precedent in Minnesota were inaction bearing witness to a crime without trying to get help or stop it makes you culpable. So the bystanders filming are fine but the officers that held him down and denied their assistance are being charged as well.

    • Sketchy Getchey says:

      Ben Reilly well if you paid attention, if the bystanders pushed the officers out of the way they’d be charged with assaulting an officer. Sure someone could still take the fall and take the assaulting the officer charge, but what about the chances of further police brutality?

    • Florida Man says:

      Sketchy Getchey, the odds are good in Minneapolis that if someone had intervened that they’d be acquitted. Especially if everything was caught on camera.

    • Uteriel says:

      @Florida Man
      but given how th police in the us acts theres the chance of 2 corpses instead of 1 if someone tried to help that man.

    • filthy steve says:

      Well the people filming may have been trying to get evidence of abuse and didnt want to he assulted as well

    • Ben Reilly says:

      @Sketchy Getchey I know. I was explaining literally why under the law they charged the others. It was a description *not* a prescription.

  16. 1 Subscriber Before 2021 says:

    I’m curious to see how they’re going to find a jury for this case. Seems like everyone has already formed their personal opinions on this issue.

  17. David Lively says:

    I love the video. However: I feel that the cut scenes with the shrugging guy and the tears rolling down a cheek made light of a serious topic and distracted from your presentation. Still: this was incredibly clear & articulate, WAY better than *I* could do, and a great presentation overall. Thanks for speaking out.

  18. 0mNam says:

    so basically this sums up murder in layman’s terms:
    1st degree: killing a specific somebody with a plan
    2nd degree: randomly killing random someone with intent to harm/kill
    3rd degree: lethal oopsie

  19. YouWhoKnowKnewNot says:

    First time viewer turned subbed. Here is how:
    It was very simple, something that we don’t get much lately especially in the news media realm. You came back on the video with an update. You admit you might have messed up, you owned it and fell on your sword, you apologied, you explained why, you correct the error immediately, and you apologize while letting us know you will try to do better. That’s all we viewers are asking when we watch ppl videos or when being taught something new. Accountability and integrity. After that part in the video I immediately paused this video to take time to comment and subscribed.
    Good work, true work, square work!

  20. Criston Sloan says:

    2019: LegalEagle creates very entertaining and informative reaction videos to movies and TV shows.
    2020: This shit just got real….

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