More Legal Trouble for Cops in George Floyd Case

Federal grand jury indicts Derek Chauvin, 3 others on civil rights charges
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 7, 2021 9:21 AM CDT
More Legal Trouble for Cops in George Floyd Case
In this May 25, 2020, file image from surveillance video, Minneapolis police Officers from left, Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane are seen attempting to take George Floyd into custody in Minneapolis, Minn.   (Court TV via AP, Pool, File)

A federal grand jury has indicted the four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest and death, accusing them of violating the Black man’s constitutional rights as he was restrained face-down on the pavement and gasping for air, according to indictments unsealed Friday. The three-count indictment names Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, per the AP. Specifically, Chauvin, Thao, and Kueng are charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and excessive force. And all four officers are charged for their failure to provide Floyd with medical care. Chauvin was also charged in a second indictment, stemming from the arrest and neck restraint of a 14-year-old boy in 2017.

Lane, Thao, and Kueng appeared via videoconference in US District Court in Minneapolis. Chauvin, who was convicted last month on state charges of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death and awaits sentencing, was not part of the court appearance. The other three former officers face a state trial in August, and they are free on bond. They were allowed to remain free after Friday's federal court appearance. The new federal indictments could mean more high-profile trials, per Axios. Floyd, 46, died May 25 after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck, even as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Kueng and Lane also helped restrain Floyd—state prosecutors have said Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held down Floyd’s legs. State prosecutors say Thao held back bystanders and kept them from intervening during the 9 1/2-minute restraint.

(More George Floyd stories.)

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