Four former Minneapolis police officers have been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the death of George Floyd.
The charges are the culmination of a months-long federal civil rights investigation into Floyd’s death, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
In a state trial last month, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter charges. Chauvin, who is appealing the verdict, 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 Tou Thao and J. Alexander 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.
They were “aware that Defendant Chauvin was holding his knee across George Floyd’s neck as Floyd lay handcuffed and unresisting, and that Defendant Chauvin continued to hold Floyd to the ground even after Floyd became unresponsive, and the defendants willfully failed to intervene to stop Defendant Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force,” the indictment said.
Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and former officer Thomas Lane were all charged with failing to give Floyd necessary medical attention.
“The defendants saw George Floyd lying on the ground in clear need of medical care, and willfully failed to aid Floyd, thereby acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm to Floyd,” the indictment said.
Another federal indictment was issued against Chauvin in connection with a 2017 incident that involved the neck restraint and arrest of a 14-year-old boy.
“Count One of this indictment alleges that on Sept. 4, 2017, Chauvin, without legal justification, held the teenager by the throat and struck the teenager multiple times in the head with a flashlight. The indictment alleges that this offense included the use of a dangerous weapon — a flashlight — and resulted in bodily injury to the teenager,” the Justice Department release said.
“Count Two of the indictment charges that Chauvin 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.”
Thao, Kueng and Lane are all facing trial in Minneapolis on charges filed by the state of Minnesota.
All three are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter connected to Floyd’s death, according to CNN. Their trial on those charges is scheduled for August.
The Justice Department said the civil rights charges against the former officers are separate from its probe of the Minneapolis Police Department.
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