May 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Derek Chauvin, 3 former officers indicted on federal civil rights charges

Photo of George Floyd Square, with signs and flowers sitting on the ground in memorial of Floyd

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

A federal grand jury Friday has indicted Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis officers for civil rights violations related to the death of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The new charges mean the officers could face another high-profile criminal trial following a yearlong racial reckoning across the nation.

Details: The grand jury indicted Chauvin in two cases: for kneeling on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes in May 2020 and for a similar arrest of a 14-year-old boy in 2017.

  • In the latter, court documents show that Chauvin hit the teen with his flashlight before grabbing him by the throat and hitting him again, the Star Tribune reports.
  • The federal indictment charges the other three ex-officers — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and excessive force.

What they're saying: "We are encouraged by these charges and eager to see continued justice in this historic case that will impact Black citizens and all Americans for generations to come," the Floyd family's legal team said in a statement.

Flashback: Chauvin was convicted on charges of murder and manslaughter in April after a month-long trial.

  • Federal officials had planned to arrest him at the courthouse if the case ended in a mistrial or not guilty verdict, per the Star Tribune.
  • State prosecutors are seeking a tougher sentence for Chauvin following the verdict. The three other officers are set to go on trial in August for aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

Read the indictment.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the statement from the Floyd family legal team.

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