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Federal civil rights charges filed against ex-cops in George Floyd’s death

▶ Watch Video: Derek Chauvin attorney seeks new trial, verdict impeachment citing jury, prosecutorial misconduct

A federal grand jury in Minnesota has indicted Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis officer convicted in the death of George Floyd, and three other ex-officers on civil rights charges.

The federal indictment accuses Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, the three fired officers who are awaiting trial on state charges of aiding and abetting in Floyd’s death, of depriving Floyd of his civil rights under color of law, meaning while acting in their capacity as police officers.

It accuses Chauvin of willfully depriving Floyd of the Constitutional right to be protected from illegal search and seizure, which includes the right to be free from unreasonable force by a police officer. It says Chauvin did so by pinning Floyd to the ground with a knee on his neck as he was handcuffed and unresisting, resulting in Floyd’s death. It accuses Tao and Kueng of failing to intervene, and it accuses all four officers of depriving Floyd of liberty by not providing him medical attention.

Chauvin is also charged with deprivation of civil rights under color of law for an incident involving a juvenile boy, whom Chauvin allegedly struck in the head with a flashlight and pinned to the ground with a knee on his neck and back during a September 2017 arrest. (The other three officers were not involved in that case.) 

The new charges come as Chauvin awaits sentencing on his second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter convictions in Floyd’s death. 

Chauvin already faces decades in prison on his state convictions in Floyd’s death, though he could serve far less time.  It’s not immediately clear when Chauvin and the three other ex-officers would face a federal trial. Kueng, Lane and Thao are expected to be tried jointly on the state charges in August.



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