4 Former Minneapolis Police Officers Indicted on Federal Civil Rights Expenses for Dying of George Floyd; Derek Chauvin Additionally Charged in Separate Indictment for Violating Civil Rights of a Juvenile | OPA

Note: A copy of the indictment against Chauvin et al. can be viewed Here and the two charges against Chauvin can be viewed Here.

WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota returned two charges that were unsealed today. The first indictment charges former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 45; Tou Thao, 35; J. Alexander Kueng, 27; and Thomas Lane, 38, with federal civil rights crimes for their role in the death of George Perry Floyd Jr.

The three charge indictment alleges that all four defendants, while acting under the color of the law, deliberately deprived Mr. Floyd of his constitutional rights in violation of Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 242 on May 25, 2020 Chauvin held his left knee over Mr. Floyd’s neck and his right knee over Floyd’s back and arm as George Floyd was handcuffed and resisted on the floor, holding his knees against Mr. Floyd’s neck and body even after Mr. Floyd stopped responding . The indictment alleges that Chauvin’s actions violated Mr. Floyd’s constitutional right to be free from the use of improper force by a police officer and resulted in Mr. Floyd’s assault and death.

Count two of the indictments that Thao and Kueng deliberately failed to intervene to stop Chauvin’s use of inappropriate force, resulting in assault and Mr. Floyd’s death. Finally, Count Three of the Indictment alleges that all four of the defendants saw Mr. Floyd lying on the floor, clearly in need of medical attention, and deliberately unsupporting him. The indictment alleges that all four of the defendants deliberately deprived Mr. Floyd of his constitutional right not to be deprived of liberty without due process, which includes the right of an arrested person to be free from a police officer’s deliberate indifference to serious medical care his needs. The indictment alleges that the offense resulted in bodily harm and death of Mr Floyd.

A separate two-count indictment also accuses Chauvin of willfully depriving a Minneapolis resident who was then fourteen of the constitutional right to be exempt from the use of improper force by a police officer in violation of United States Title 18 Code , Section 242. Count One This indictment alleges that on September 4, 2017, Chauvin held the teenager by the neck without legal justification and hit the teenager several times in the head with a flashlight. The indictment alleges that the offense involved the use of a dangerous weapon – a flashlight – and resulted in assault on the teenager. Count two of the charges that Chauvin held his knee by the teen’s neck and upper back even after the teen was prone, handcuffed, and unresisting, which also resulted in bodily harm.

Both charges indict violations of Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 242. 18 USC § 242 states that it is a crime for an official who acts under the color of the law to willfully violate a person’s constitutional rights. When government employees such as police officers use or abuse the power conferred on them by their position, they act “under the color of the law”.

A charge is just a formal charge of criminal behavior. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they have been found unequivocally guilty in a court of law.

The charges announced today differ from the civil or practical investigation by the Department of Justice against the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department that the Attorney General announced on April 21. The charges announced today are criminal, while the investigations into patterns or practices are civil investigations that are separate and separate from the criminal case and are conducted by a different team of career professionals from the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office .

The charges announced today are also separate from, and in addition to, the charges brought by the state of Minnesota against these former officials related to the death of Mr. Floyd. The federal charge alleges various offenses; In particular, they assert violations of the US Constitution, not state law.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan and Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk for the District of Minnesota commended the FBI and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigative efforts into this matter and thanked the Minneapolis Police Department for their cooperation in the investigation.

The federal criminal cases are being prosecuted by acting US attorney W. Anders Folk of Minnesota district, special litigation advisor Samantha Trepel, and trial attorney Tara Allison of the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and US assistant attorney Samantha Bates. LeeAnn Bell, Evan Gilead, Manda Sertich, and Allen Slaughter of Minnesota District.

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