Report: Biden's DOJ Had 'Backup Plan' to Immediately Arrest Derek Chauvin if He Was Found Not Guilty


The Justice Department reportedly had a contingency plan to arrest former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin at the Minneapolis courthouse and charge him with civil-rights violations if he was found not guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd, or if the case ended in a mistrial.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, federal investigators had been building a police brutality case for months against Chauvin and the three other former Minneapolis police officers charged in connection with Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.

Reportedly, under the contingency plan, the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office would have filed a criminal complaint to charge Chauvin, so he could be immediately arrested, and then asked a grand jury for an indictment.

The “backup plan” was not needed because the state jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on April 20.

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Now that the murder trial is over, the DOJ is purportedly moving forward with its case.

The federal prosecutors will ask a grand jury to indict Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao on civil rights violations, an anonymous source told the Star Tribune.

The grand jury, made up of a group of 23 citizens, reportedly met in secret last year to hear the federal authorities’ evidence and decide if there was probable cause to issue charges.

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The federal grand jury was empaneled in Minneapolis in February, The New York Times reported.

“George Floyd’s death spurred a renewed and re-energized civil rights movement,” Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Floyd’s family, told The Times.

“It’s appropriate and gratifying that the Department of Justice under President Biden is taking racial justice seriously.”

If the grand jury voted to indict the officers, they could all face another criminal trial in federal court, according to the Star Tribune.

Federal authorities reportedly want to indict all four officers in connection with Floyd’s death, and Chauvin specifically for the aggressive arrest of a 14-year-old boy in 2017, as well.

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“The president has spoken in personal terms about how the death of George Floyd affected him and redoubled his commitment to advancing racial justice,” the White House said in a February statement, according to The Times.

“But he’s also made clear that he firmly believes that the Department of Justice must be able to act independently in investigating and prosecuting any case.”

In his first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, President Joe Biden also asked Congress to send him a police reform bill named after Floyd by May 25, 2021, Fox News reported.

“We have a giant opportunity to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice. Real justice,” Biden said.

The Justice Department announced a separate investigation into whether Minneapolis police engage “in a pattern and practice of unlawful behavior” the day after Chauvin’s guilty verdict, according to the Star Tribune.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith