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George Floyd: Derek Chauvin and three ex-officers indicted on federal civil rights charges

·2-min read
<p>Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, centre, is taken into custody following his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd</p> (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, centre, is taken into custody following his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd


Four former Minneapolis police officers were indicted on federal civil rights charges for allegedly depriving George Floyd of his rights.

A grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin and his three ex-colleagues with new charges unsealed on Friday morning.

The charges, which come after an 11-month Department of Justice investigation, allege Mr Chauvin, Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao used their positions as police officers to deprive Mr Floyd of his constitutional rights.

By “willfully” failing to aid Mr Floyd, lying on the ground in need of medical care, the indictment says the four deprived Mr Floyd’s right to be free from “deliberate indifference” to serious medical needs.

Mr Chauvin also allegedly “willfully deprived” Mr Floyd of being free from unreasonable seizure, “which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer”.

“Chauvin held his left knee across George Floyd’s neck, and his right knee on Floyd’s back and arm, as George Floyd lay on the ground, handcuffed and unresisting, and kept his knees on Floyd’s neck and body even after Floyd became unresponsive,” the indictment said.

“This offence resulted in bodily injury to, and the death of, George Floyd.”

Mr Chauvin was indicted on a second civil rights charge in connection to an arrest of a 14-year-old boy in 2017, in which court documents allege he hit the teenager with a flashlight before grabbing his throat, according to the Star Tribune.

Federal officers had a contingency plan to arrest Mr Chauvin at the court if he was found innocent in the death of Mr Floyd, the Tribune reported.

He was ultimately convicted last month on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Defence attorney Eric Nelson has reportedly filed an appeal for a new trial, saying his ability to have a fair trial was affected by pretrial publicity, as well as “pervasive, prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct”.

The filing also requested to impeach the verdict on the grounds the jury committed misconduct, or felt threatened or intimidated, or “felt race-based pressure”.

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