On Friday, a Minnesota federal grand jury issued a three-count indictment against the four former Minneapolis police officers that were involved in the arrest and subsequent death of George Floyd. That includes recently convicted former officer Derek Chauvin.
The officers named in the unsealed indictment are Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Kueng. Chauvin, Kueng, and Thao are being charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and for using excessive force. All four officers are being charged with failing to provide Floyd with needed medical assistance during the incident.
A second indictment charged Chauvin in connection to his arrest and restraint of a 14-year-old boy for alleged domestic violence in 2017. The first count of the indictment states that Chauvin “held the teenager by the throat and struck the teenager multiple times in the head with a flashlight.” A second count alleges that he “held his knee on the neck and the upper back of the teenager even after the teenager was lying prone, handcuffed, and unresisting, also resulting in bodily injury.”
Lane, Thao, and Kueng appeared remotely by videoconference in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. All three were released on $25,000 bail. Chauvin, who is in jail awaiting sentencing on his conviction in the death of George Floyd, did not appear before the court.
(Video Credit: CBS News)
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The former officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for approximately nine minutes after restraining him with handcuffs and forcing him face-down on the pavement. Floyd repeatedly stated he could not breathe to the officers.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who was the one that led the state’s prosecution against Chauvin, declared that the charges were “entirely appropriate” and said the federal government had a “responsibility to protect the civil rights of every American and to pursue justice to the fullest extent of federal law.”
In a peculiar (and perhaps arrogant) turn of events, Ellison also stated that there was no evidence that race played a part in the death of Floyd. A conclusion that contradicts the long-running narrative surrounding the case.
The Chauvin trial was very high-profile and lasted for weeks. He could now face decades in prison for his actions. Sentencing is scheduled for June 25.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, contended during his murder trial that Chauvin acted reasonably given the tense situation and that Floyd died because of underlying health conditions and known drug use. Currently, his attorney is seeking a new trial over many issues including the fact that one of the jurors allegedly attended a protest rally in 2020 and the judge refused to move the trial due to publicity.
Lane, Kueng, and Thao will stand trial in August on state criminal charges for allegedly aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. They have all pleaded not guilty.
Numerous Minneapolis police officers, including the city’s police chief, testified against Chauvin during his trial.
The indictment states that the offenses violated the U.S. Code that is known as the “color of law” statute. Currently, Democrats are trying to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The statute, as it stands, prohibits police officers from willfully depriving “a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”
Under the George Floyd bill, which seeks to implement sweeping national policing reforms, “willfully” would be changed to “knowingly or recklessly,” and the scope of the statute would be expanded.
Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network celebrated the indictments in a statement and said the charges show “we have a Justice Department that deals with police criminality and does not excuse it.”
“For many years we have tried to get the federal government to make it clear that these crimes are not only state crimes but violate civil rights on a federal level when police engage in this kind of behavior,” the statement declared. “What we couldn’t get them to do in the case of Eric Garner, Michael Brown in Ferguson, and countless others, we are finally seeing them do today and this is a significant development for those of us who have been engaged in the struggle and police reform movement.”
Although there was immense rejoicing on Twitter by leftists at the development, many commenters were sickened by it:
Why is this about race when it should about simply crime?. I don’t get it…lolz.
— Mohammed S Hussain (@m_s_hussain) May 7, 2021
I am so sick of this totally racist crap
— Kathy Collier (@Bobeedean) May 7, 2021
This is ridiculous, but not surprised with this federal grand jury.
— 🇺🇲🇺🇲Teresa 🇺🇲🇺🇲 (@Lawrencr15) May 7, 2021
The current PC woke left liberal progressive hysteria and societal fad demands more scapegoats for the death a black violent criminal that resisted arrest.
— Nicolas Michelakos (@nicmichelakos1) May 7, 2021
It’s never good to be cops. Damn if you follow the rules and training and damn if you don’t…
— Michael (@Michael69497208) May 7, 2021
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