Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin may not get the chance to appeal his 22.5-year prison sentence as prosecutors prepare for the federal case against Chauvin and three other officers.
The federal case separately accuses Chauvin of violating George Floyd’s civil rights in 2020 and a teenager’s civil rights in 2017, KARE-TV reported.
The charges are the culmination of a months-long federal civil rights investigation into Floyd’s death, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Chauvin was videotaped kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest. The others charged were at the scene during the arrest.
The federal indictment claims Chauvin and former officers Thao and Kueng deprived Floyd of the right to be free from unreasonable seizure and excessive force.
“Count One of the indictment alleges that on May 25, 2020, Chauvin held his left knee across Mr. 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 Mr. Floyd’s neck and body even after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive,” a Justice Department news release said.
“The indictment alleges that Chauvin’s actions violated Mr. Floyd’s constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer and resulted in bodily injury to, and the death of, Mr. Floyd.”
Thao and Kueng were charged for failing to intervene on Floyd’s behalf and Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and former officer Thomas Lane were charged with failing to give Floyd necessary medical attention.
The arraignment has been set for September after prosecutors requested more time to prepare for the federal trial due to the sheer volume of evidence.
“I still think he’s going to end up with a federal deal and end up in federal prison,” Michael Bryant of Bradshaw and Bryant, which was not involved in the Chauvin case, told KARE.
“So, I don’t think it’s going to matter.”
Legal experts told KARE that a federal plea deal could include an agreement for Chauvin not to appeal his state conviction.
Chauvin seemed to refer to the federal charges when he told the Floyd family in court, “There’s going to be some other information in the future, that would be of interest, and I hope things will give you some peace of mind.”
“There’s the possibility that’s what Chauvin meant, when he talked about, ‘you’re going to hear something that’s going to give you comfort,'” Bryant said.
“That it’s going to be a bigger federal sentence and that he’ll serve his time.”
If Chauvin is convicted of federal counts in Floyd’s death, he could face a new set of sentencing guidelines, which could include a longer federal sentence, in addition to his state sentence or two sentences running at the same time, according to WCCO-TV.
“It is whatever the federal judge wants to do,” former federal prosecutor in Chicago Phil Turner said. “If he wants the sentence to be consecutive, he can.”
A federal trial date has still not been set.
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