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Grand Jury Indicts Chauvin and Other Ex-Officers On Civil Rights Charges

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Four former Minneapolis police officers, including Derek Chauvin, have been indicted on civil rights charges by a federal grand jury in connection to George Floyd’s arrest prior to his death last year.

The said indictment was unsealed on Friday. It named former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao. Just last month a jury in Minneapolis found Chauvin guilty of three charges in connection to Floyd’s death: second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.

As per the Associated Press, Chauvin, Thao, and Kueng have been charged with violating Floyd’s right “to be free from unreasonable seizure” by a police officer. Meanwhile, Chauvin was also charged with violating the man’s “right to be free from unreasonable force.”

Additionally, the report mentioned that all four officers have been charged for failing to provide Floyd with medical care.

On top of this, in a second indictment, Chauvin has also been charged with civil rights violations in connection to a 2014 arrest of a 14-year-old boy.

Justice Department Reportedly Wanted to Arrest Chauvin on Civil Rights Charges if Jury Found Him Innocent

These indictments follow reports that the Biden administration sought to charge the four mentioned officers with civil rights violations. The Justice Department reportedly wanted Chauvin arrested based on civil rights charges if he had been found innocent by the jury during the trial over the death of Floyd.

The other officers involved in Floyd’s death in 2020 have yet to stand trial. However, they are already scheduled in court in the summer. Lane, Kuen, and Thou will stand trial with charges of aiding and abetting Chauvin’s crimes.

Eric Nelson, who serves as Chauvin’s attorney, has appealed the jury’s decision earlier this week. He claims misconduct on the part of the court and by the members of the jury.

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According to Nelson, the Court “abused its discretion” when it didn’t sequester the jury when the trial went on nor did it admonish the members to avoid all media. The attorney claimed this resulted in “jury exposure to prejudicial publicity” in connection to the trial during the proceedings. He also said it resulted in jury intimidation. Nelson said this violated Chauvin’s “constitutional rights to due process and to a fair trial.”

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