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How Long Do Investigations Like The George Floyd Case Usually Take? Good Question

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- On Wednesday afternoon, MN Commissioner of Public Safety John Harrington said he wants to move along the investigation into the death of George Floyd as quickly as possible.

"We will make sure this is not an investigation that lags, but just as important as being expeditious, because we all know you all want to know what happened that day, it will be an investigation that's done right," he said.

So, how long do these investigations usually take? Good Question.

"There's no usual in something like this," said Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and professor of law at the University of St. Thomas. "This should be a quicker and simpler investigation than most."

It took four and half months for the Hennepin County Attorney's Office not to charge the officers in the Jamar Clark case. It took four and half months to arrest Jeronimo Yanez in Philando Castile's shooting. It was eight months before Mohammed Noor was charged in killing Justine Damond.

"In those cases, you had a lot of people interviewed, who were telling conflicting stories," said Osler. "Any reasonable person would look at this and say this is going to be a quicker investigation that other, in part because the video evidence is so much more compelling and complete in terms of showing what a prosecutor will look for in terms of a crime, in this case murder."

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is now investigating.

"We do have to wait for certain pieces of the process," said Harrington.

At Wednesday's press conference, he said state investigators did not yet have an autopsy report. He also asked anyone who witnessed George Floyd's death to come forward.

"If you were there, if you took video there or if you know people who were there, the sooner that we can get to all of those witnesses and all the other statements, we can move this case along," Harrington said.

Harrington said the BCA and the FBI are conducting joint investigations. On Tuesday, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he had called the FBI to ask for a federal investigation into this case.

Osler said those investigations generally take longer. It took federal prosecutors six and a half months to decide not to charge the officers in Jamar Clark's case.

"Just because federal officials move more deliberately on that, and that's not a bad thing, that's something that often is necessary," Osler said.

He also said he believes the case against former Officer Derek Chauvin, the man whose knee was on Floyd's neck, is more clear-cut. He said a decision on charges against the other three men might take longer.


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