Video: The online video recorded by a bystander in Minneapolis, the biggest city in the Midwest state of Minnesota, on May 25, 2020, shows police officer Derek Chauvin holding George Floyd down with a knee on his neck though the black man in his 40s repeatedly pleaded, "I can't breathe," and "Please, I can't breathe." (Xinhua)

"What the world has witnessed since the killing of George Floyd on Monday has been a visceral pain, a community trying to understand who we are and where we go from here," says Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.

WASHINGTON, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck in Minneapolis, U.S. state Minnesota, was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter amid a national outrage following the black man's death earlier this week, authorities said Friday.

A video showed the officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for at least eight minutes while Floyd repeatedly pleaded, "I can't breathe," and "please, I can't breathe" during the fatal arrest on Monday evening. Chauvin's way of handling the man is not approved by the local police department.

Chauvin was fired together with three other officers involved in the case shortly after the video went viral on social media on Tuesday, sparking a widespread cry for justice.

"The investigation is ongoing," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said after announcing the charges against Chauvin Friday afternoon.

A combo photo of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (L) and George Floyd, whose neck Chauvin knelt on for almost eight minutes on May 25, 2020. Floyd later died in police custody. (Xinhua)   

Chauvin had 18 prior complaints filed against him with the Minneapolis Police Department's Internal Affairs, according to local media reports. It is unclear what the complaints against him were for.

Violent protests escalated for the third night on Thursday in Minneapolis, the biggest city in Minnesota, as demonstrations and riots spread to other cities across the country in the wake of Floyd's death.

"What the world has witnessed since the killing of George Floyd on Monday has been a visceral pain, a community trying to understand who we are and where we go from here," Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said at a news conference on Friday. 

He declared a state of emergency and activated the Minnesota National Guard to restore order on Thursday.  ■

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