After three days of ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd, the officer who was filmed kneeling on his neck for several minutes before he died has been taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Not long after news of the arrest broke, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that the charges are murder in the third degree and manslaughter.

The charges against Chauvin were brought in record time, according to Freeman, as protests in Minneapolis intensified each night after Floyd’s death. Thursday night, the people of Minneapolis took over the 3rd precinct where Chauvin allegedly worked before he was fired, trashing the building and lighting parts of it on fire.

“We are in the process of continuing to review the evidence,” said Freeman. “There may be subsequent charges later.”

“I didn’t want to wait any longer to share the news,” he added. “The investigation is ongoing. We felt it appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator. I must say this case has moved with extraordinary speed.”

Moments before the news of the arrest broke, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz admitted to the “abject failure” of the state to provide swift justice for George Floyd and his family.

“Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire. The fire is still smoldering in our streets. The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish unheard,” he said about the protests. “Now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world—and the world is watching.”

There is no word yet on whether charges will be brought against the three officers who stood by as Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck while he begged for help and said that he couldn’t breathe. Black leaders in Minneapolis are continuing to demand the arrest of these officers, who were fired along with Chauvin.

The news about Chauvin comes as a relief to some who were afraid that there would be no charges issued against the former officer.

On Thursday, Freeman suggested in a press conference that there was not enough evidence to bring charges and that “there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge,” leading to further anger among protesters and their supporters.

His office later clarified that they simply felt that “it is critical to review all the evidence” before making an arrest.

Not everyone is satisfied withthese charges, however, believing that nothing less than a charge of first-degree murder—in which the killing is intentional and premeditated—is acceptable.

It’s going to be another long night.

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*First Published: May 29, 2020, 10:52 am