Get our free mobile app

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota's top federal attorney says he's ordering his entire staff to work on violent crime cases.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that U.S. Attorney Andy Luger announced Tuesday that he's directed all 42 prosecutors in his office to work on violent crimes. He said he will oversee every case from indictment to sentencing. He promised that all adult carjackers will do federal time and prosecutors will devote more resources to enforcing gun purchasing laws.

The announcement comes as Minneapolis and St. Paul are facing a violent crime wave. Minneapolis saw 97 homicides last year, the most since 1995. St. Paul recorded 38 homicides in 2021, breaking the city's record of 34 set in 1992.

Timeline: George Floyd's Death, Protests, Riots, Arrests, and Chauvin Trial

It was late afternoon on Memorial Day, 2020 and many Minnesotans had observed the normally active weekend hunkered down because of the growing pandemic.

George Floyd drove to a grocery store in Minneapolis and bought some cigarettes. He was accused by employees of making the purchase with a counterfeit $20 bill and police were called. Floyd was still there in his vehicle when two officers arrived. About 10 minutes later, Chauvin and another officer showed up and the situation began to escalate. Chauvin began kneeling on Floyd's neck as he was facedown on the street. Despite repeated pleas from Floyd and a growing crowd of bystanders to remove his knee, Chauvin continued as if frozen in position with no facial expression. 

After more than 8 minutes, Chauvin finally stood up and Floyd had become unresponsive. An ambulance was called and a short while later, it was reported Floyd was dead.

A video of the incident slowly spread on social media around the state, the country and the world. Viewers literally watched a man slowly die, repeating "I can't breathe." 

The now historic response began the following day.