Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers face federal civil rights charges for their role in the arrest and murder of George Floyd, the Department of Justice said on Friday, showing the portfolio’s firmer stance on cases of police violence.
The charges revealed are separate from those of the state of Minnesota against the four officers involved. Last month, Chauvin was found guilty of murdering Floyd after the jury verdict – this week his attorney filed a series of motions for a new trial, which is usual in these types of cases, but unlikely to happen. ‘to be accepted.
The other three police officers (Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane) involved in the prison also face charges, but have yet to be tried, which is likely to happen in the coming months.
The four are accused of failing to provide assistance to someone who “clearly needed” medical attention, the prosecution said on Friday.
Thao, Kueng and Lane appeared with their lawyers by video conference in federal court in Minneapolis. The three were released on $ 25,000 bail and will also be tried for failing to prevent Chauvin from acting with excessive force.
Floyd’s death, videotaped on May 25 last year, sparked protests against racism and police violence in the United States and more than 60 countries. Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes when he and the other three agents arrested the 46-year-old black man.
Floyd, who was handcuffed, was accused of using a fake $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes at a supermarket.
Chauvin’s trial began on March 29 and 45 witnesses were heard, including police officers, medical experts and passers-by who witnessed the approach of the police. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and waived his right to testify before juries.
The sentence was handed down by a panel of 12 jurors after three weeks. Chauvin was convicted in three categories of homicide and remains in detention pending a hearing scheduled for June 25.
The former policeman faces up to 40 years in prison. As he is a principal defendant, such a conviction would typically result in 12.5 years in prison, but prosecutors may request an extension of the sentence based on aggravating factors.
In another federal indictment, Chauvin was also charged with violating the rights of a 14-year-old boy during an arrest in September 2017. He grabbed the teenager by the neck and punched him. with a flashlight.
The charges were the most recent sign that the Justice Department, led by Joe Biden, is taking a tougher line against police abuse, a role civil rights advocates say the department overlooked during administration by Donald Trump.