Washington DC [US], March 12 (ANI): A Hennepin County judge on Thursday reinstated a third-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of African-American George Floyd last year.
Chauvin already faced charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter and jury selection in his trial had begun on Thursday, reported CNN.
Though he has pleaded not guilty, it is unclear if the new charge could impact the trial's expected start date of March 29.
Although Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder in the days after Floyd's death, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill had dismissed the count in October last year, saying it did not apply to the circumstances of this case.
CNN reported that the Minnesota Court of Appeals had ordered Cahill to reconsider the motion to reinstate the charge last week.
On May 25 last year, 46-year old Floyd died in police custody after Chauvin knelt on his neck for at least eight minutes. Floyd's death had sparked series of protests across the US.
The other three former officers had been charged for aiding and abetting second-degree murder, according to the court documents.
Floyd's final moments were captured on disturbing police and bystander video, and his death led to unrest and fires in the city as well as worldwide protests against police brutality and racism. (ANI)