Derek Chauvin has been convicted on murder charges in the death of George Floyd. Now he and three fellow ex-officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, will all face Federal charges for civil rights violations. Chauvin will also face charges in an additional case.
The Star-Tribune reports that Federal prosecutors were waiting for the end of Chauvin’s trial before bringing their civil rights case. If he’d been found not guilty, or if the case had ended in a mistrial, he would have been taken into federal custody at the courthouse.
This would prevent an announcement of Federal charges from interfering with the proceedings in his initial case, and could also have been some balm to a population crying for justice.
The other three officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, who were present when Chauvin apprehended Floyd and knelt on his back and neck for nine minutes while the man begged for air, are facing charges for aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, as reported by the New York Times, and have yet to be tried on those charges.
In addition to charges for the death of George Floyd, Feds reportedly intend to press civil rights charges on Chauvin for another case, from 2017. In that case, he’s accused of violently accosting a Black 14-year-old boy, hitting the child in the head with a flashlight, grabbing him by the throat, and — familiarly — kneeling on his back for an extended time while the child cried for his mother and for breath. The Guardian reports that prosecutors wanted the body cam footage from that incident admitted as evidence in Chauvin’s trial, but ultimately, jurors were not shown this.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com