George Floyd death: Wife of officer charged with murder files for divorce

Tom Embury-Dennis
·2 min read
Derek Chauvin keeps George Floyd on the ground with a knee to the neck: Facebook/Darnella Frazier
Derek Chauvin keeps George Floyd on the ground with a knee to the neck: Facebook/Darnella Frazier

The wife of the police officer charged with murder over the death of George Floyd has filed for divorce.

In a statement, Kellie Chauvin's lawyer said she expressed her condolences to the family of Mr Floyd, a black man who was killed while pleading for air as the officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes during an arrest.

Derek Chauvin was later fired before being charged on Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

“This evening, I spoke with Kellie Chauvin and her family," the lawyer told ABC. "She is devastated by Mr Floyd's death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy.

"She has filed for dissolution of her marriage to Derek Chauvin. While Ms Chauvin has no children from her current marriage, she respectfully requests that her children, her elder parents, and her extended family be given safety and privacy during this difficult time.”

Mr Floyd's death in Minneapolis has sparked an explosion of anger across cities in the US, with thousands taking to the streets to protest his killing and police brutality in general against black men.

Early on Saturday, Georgia's governor declared a state of emergency to activate the state National Guard in Atlanta, while another 500 Guard soldiers were mobilized in Minneapolis and surrounding cities.

The Guard was also on standby in the District of Columbia, where a crowd grew outside the White House and chanted curses at Donald Trump. Some protesters tried to push through barriers set up by the Secret Service along Pennsylvania Avenue, and threw bottles and other objects at officers wearing riot gear, who responded with pepper spray.

A person was killed in downtown Detroit just before midnight after someone in an SUV fired shots into a crowd of protesters near the city's Greektown entertainment district, police said.

In Portland, Oregon, protesters broke into police headquarters on Friday night and authorities said they lit a fire inside.

In Virginia's capital, a police cruiser was set on fire outside Richmond police headquarters, and a city transit spokeswoman said a bus set ablaze was “a total loss", news outlets reported.

Additional reporting by AP