The judge presiding over the trial of four former Minneapolis police officers involved in the arrest that led to the death of George Floyd dropped a lower-level murder charge against the man who knelt on Floyd's neck, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and KMSP-TV in Minneapolis.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill dismissed a third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin on Thursday. Chauvin still faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The state has five days to appeal the ruling.
Cahill also ruled that three other former police officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, will remain charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
Chauvin, Kueng, Lane and Thao were arrested in June, days after video of their arrest of Floyd was shared widely on social media. Video of the arrest showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's death for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was pronounced dead hours later.
Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder, but Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison later added a charge of second-degree murder. In Minnesota, a third-degree murder charge implies that a death was unintentional, while a second-degree murder charge implies intent.
Earlier this month, Chauvin was released from jail after posting a $1 million bond.
This story is breaking and will be updated.