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Feds to indict Chauvin, 3 ex-officers on civil rights charges
By Tim Darnell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Troy Warren #picks-all
Federal prosecutors are reportedly planning to ask a grand jury to indict Derek Chauvin and three other ex-Minneapolis police officers on civil rights charges in the death of George Floyd.
Prosecutors want to indict Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, according to the Tribune News Service. Earlier this month, Chauvin, 45, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd. The jury in the internationally watched trial concluded his actions were a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death and his use of force was unreasonable.
Federal prosecutors not only want to indict Chauvin in Floyd’s death but also for his actions in a 2017 arrest of a 14-year-old boy. In the latter case, Chauvin struck the teen on the head with his flashlight, then grabbed him by the throat and hit him again, according to court documents.
The other three ex-officers would be charged only in connection to Floyd’s death. The federal case will be prosecuted by Justice Department attorneys in Minnesota and Washington, D.C.
The charges would run in addition to the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Minneapolis police engage in a pattern and practice of unlawful behavior. Justice officials announced this investigation the day after Chauvin’s guilty verdict, another calculated move designed to avoid interfering with the state’s trial.
Floyd died last May after Chauvin, a white officer, pinned his knee on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for about 9 ½ minutes in a case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
Chauvin’s sentencing has been pushed back to June 25, according to online court records. Under Minnesota statutes, Chauvin will only be sentenced on the most serious one: second-degree murder.
While that count carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, experts say he won’t get that much. They say that for all practical purposes, the maximum he would face is 30 years, and he could get less.
The convictions came after a jury deliberated for parts of two days following three weeks of testimony from bystanders, medical experts and police use-of-force trainers.