Derek Chauvin, Three Other Former Minneapolis Police Officers Face New Federal Charges In Death Of George Floyd

People react to the Derek Chauvin trial verdict last month at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis. Photo: Chris Tuite /ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPX

A federal grand jury has indicted Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers on civil rights charges in the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin, 45; Tou Thao, 35; J. Alexander Kueng, 27; and Thomas Lane, 38, were charged in a three-count indictment of willfully depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights.

Chauvin was found guilty last month on state charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His sentencing is scheduled for June, but his attorneys are asking for a new trial.

The federal grand jury also indicted Chauvin on charges of willfully depriving a juvenile of the constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer. That has to do with a September 4, 2017 incident in which Chauvin allegedly held a teenager by the throat and struck him multiple times in the head with a flashlight.

The jury in Chauvin’s recent trial did not hear about the 2017 incident, which was detailed in a filing last year by Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank.

The DOJ also is conducting a civil investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department and the city of Minneapolis for its law enforcement practices.

Thao, Kueng and Lane also face a trial on state charges for their role in the death of Floyd.

The federal indictment related to the May 25 death of Floyd— read it here — includes three counts. Chauvin is alleged to have held his knee across Floyd’s neck and right knee on his back and arm, as Floyd “lay on the ground, handcuffed and unresisting.” The indictment alleges that Chauvin “kept his knees on Mr. Floyd’s neck and body even after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive.”

“This offense resulted in bodily injury to, and the death of George Floyd,” the indictment says.

Chauvin’s attorneys argued during his recent trial that other factor’s led to Floyd’s death, including a heart condition, and that Chauvin’s use of force was warranted given his earlier resistance of arrest.

Another count alleges that Kueng and Thao “willfully failed to intervene to stop Defendant Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force.” The third count claims that the four officers “willfully failed to aid Floyd, thereby acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm to Floyd.”

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