June 4, 2020
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison elevated the state’s charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd. The state’s top prosecutor also charged the three other officers involved with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Washington Post opinions columnist Jonathan Capehart will interview Ellison to hear his plan to investigate, prosecute and bring justice for the Floyd family. Join Washington Post Live on Thursday, June 4 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
  • Jun 4
Highlights
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison weighed in on President Trump’s call for total domination over protestors, saying, “The last thing we need is more domination. We do need law and order…But what we need is to have relationships with the peaceful demonstrators.”
  • Jun 4
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison discussed the strength of the prosecution’s case against the four officers involved in George Floyd’s death, “We have filed the highest, ethical charges that we can…If information comes to our attention that would justify a more serious charge we would not be reluctant about filing that charge.”
  • Jun 4
When asked about the public reaction following George Floyd’s death, and whether it influenced the legal action he is taking, Minnesota Attorney General said, “I am absolutely… not influenced by public reaction. I do believe public protest is right…I myself have done it. The charges that we filed actually have nothing to do with public reaction and everything to do with the facts that we found and law that is written into Minnesota statutes.”
  • Jun 4
When asked if body camera footage would be released before the trial, Minnesota AG Keith Ellison said, “I’m a firm believer in transparency, and the public’s right to know, but a higher priority for me is a successful prosecution. Therefore, I’ll consult with our lead investigators and I’ll say to them ‘when can we release this information to the public and still safeguard the prosecution.’ If we can do it before [trial] I would have no problem with doing that.”
  • Jun 4
When asked about what can be done to fight systemic racism in the U.S., Keith Ellison said, “Go to your local community and begin the process of talking about police-community relations…Help our neighbors understand that police are really a reflection of community sentiment. If you are outraged by what happened to [Christian Cooper] in Central Park, understand that that kind of attitude which drives police. She called the police to lie and say that this black man was threatening her life. That kind of person would be on a jury…We’ve got to dig into that kind of attitude.”
  • Jun 4
Keith Ellison
Minnesota Attorney General
Keith Ellison was sworn in as Minnesota’s 30th attorney general on January 7, 2019. As the People’s Lawyer, Attorney General Ellison’s job is to help Minnesotans afford their lives and live with dignity, safety, and respect. His guiding values are generosity and inclusion. From 2007 to 2019, Keith Ellison represented Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he championed consumer, worker, environmental, and civil- and human-rights protections for Minnesotans. He served for 12 years on the House Financial Services Committee, where he helped oversee the financial services industry, the housing industry, and Wall Street, among others. Among his legislative accomplishments are passing provisions to protect credit-card holders from abusive practices and protect the rights of renters and tenants. While in Congress, he founded the Congressional Antitrust Caucus and the Congressional Consumer Justice Caucus. He also served as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which he helped build to more than 100 members. Before being elected to Congress, Attorney General Ellison served four years in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Prior to entering elective office, he spent 16 years as an attorney specializing in civil-rights and defense law, including five years as executive director of the Legal Rights Center. As the leader of this public-interest law firm, he oversaw a team of attorneys focused on delivering justice for Minnesotans who had nowhere else to turn. He was also a noted community activist. Attorney General Ellison received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1990. He is the proud father of four adult children: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, and Amirah. He is the first African American and the first Muslim American to be elected to statewide office in Minnesota.
Robert Costa
The Washington Post
About Washington Post Live
Washington Post Live is the newsroom’s live journalism platform. Top-level government and business leaders, emerging voices and newsmakers discuss the most pressing national and global issues of the day.