A federal grand jury has indicted four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest before his death last year on civil rights charges.
The indictment, unsealed Friday, names former officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao. Last month, a Minneapolis jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
“Chauvin is charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer. Thao and Kueng are also charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure, alleging they did not intervene to stop Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd’s neck. All four officers are charged for their failure to provide Floyd with medical care,” The Associated Press reported.
In a second indictment, Chauvin is also charged with civil rights violations from the arrest of a 14-year-old boy in 2014.
The indictments against the four former officers come after reports that the Biden administration was seeking to charge the officers with civil rights violations. The Department of Justice reportedly wanted Chauvin arrested on civil rights charges outside of a Minneapolis court house should he have been found innocent by the jury in the trial over Floyd’s death.
The other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest last year have yet to face trial, though they are scheduled in court this summer. Lane, Kueng, and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting each of Chauvin’s crimes.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, appealed the jury’s verdict earlier this week, alleging misconduct on the part of the court as well as by members of the jury.
“The Court abused its discretion when it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media, which resulted in jury exposure to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings, as well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors, which violated Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and to a fair trial,” Nelson’s Tuesday filing says.
As The Daily Wire reported:
Although Nelson did not give specific details in the filing, Judge Peter Cahill previously said that Chauvin’s team may have grounds to overturn the trial on appeal in light of public remarks from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).
Nelson also argued that the court violated Chauvin’s rights by not ordering Morries Hall — the man in the car with Floyd before his death — to testify at the trial or to submit into evidence “his statements to law enforcement regarding his” interaction with Floyd. According to The New York Times, Hall invoked the Fifth Amendment during the trial after his lawyer argued that Hall’s testimony could expose him to drug-related charges.
Chauvin’s attorney, separately, also requested a hearing to throw out the court’s verdict “on the grounds that the jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations.”
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