By Vatican News
Derek Chauvin, the white officer who pinned George Floyd to the ground with one knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes as he gasped for air, was newly-charged on Wednesday with second-degree murder.
Chauvin had been jailed last Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The added charge can carry a sentence of up to 40 years.
Three other officers were taken into custody, accused of aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
As the new criminal charges were being brought, protests continued in several major cities for the ninth night in a row.
Thousands of demonstrators assembled near the White House chanting against police brutality and racism.
There was also an attempt by a number of protesters to calm the situation by urging some of their fellow demonstrators to stop taunting police and leave.
A number of cities also scaled back or lifted curfews which had been imposed in the past few days.