Prosecutor in Castile case shares his thoughts on the upcoming case involving the death of George Floyd

The Morning News with Dave Lee
June 04, 2020 - 11:52 am

    Don Lewis, special prosecutor on the Philando Castile investigation in 2016, spoke with The Morning News with Dave Lee and shared his expertise and thoughts on the upcoming case involving the death of George Floyd. 

    Lewis acknowledges that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison needed to file a more serious charge against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is being charged with the murder of Floyd. He says that by raising the charges Ellison is now able to bring in the other three officers who were on site when Floyd lost his life. 

    “It made a lot of sense to increase the charge to second-degree murder,” Lewis said. 

    Lewis also mentioned how he thinks the possibility of conviction is now higher with the new charges. He also spoke about other aspects of the case, like whether or not he thinks there will be a grand jury or if it could be considered a hate crime. 

    For this case, Lewis does not think there is a need for a grand jury. He says that one is not needed to indite Chauvin for this crime unless the charges are raised to first-degree murder. 

    As for whether or not it could be considered a hate crime Lewis thinks that Ellison has enough on his plate. To convict Chauvin of a hate crime they would need to have proof that the motivation behind Chauvin's actions was that Floyd was Black. This is something that Lewis does not see. 

    “I think the prosecutor has enough on his hands in getting a successful murder conviction,” Lewis said, “I think that would be in and of itself a success of Keith Ellison.” 

    Lewis closed by sharing that this is an important time for the citizens of Minnesota to speak out on the issues that they are facing. 

    “This incident, along with COVID-19, has revealed the breath of disparities that divide us,” Lewis said, “this is a very very critical time for us as citizens to finally stand up and address these issues.” 

    You can hear the entire interview here:

     

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