Sep 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Ex-officers accused of violating George Floyd's rights plead not guilty

Picture of protesters holding a painting of George Floyd

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers accused of violating George Floyd's civil rights pleaded not guilty to federal charges on Tuesday, AP reports.

Driving the news: Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao were indicted by a federal jury for allegedly violating Floyd's rights when they handcuffed and pinned him face-down on the ground. Floyd's death ignited nationwide protests and calls for police reform.

  • Chauvin in April was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death. He is currently serving a more than 22-year sentence in prison.

The big picture: According to the indictment, Chauvin violated Floyd's rights to be free from an unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by police. Thao and Kueng are facing similar charges for failing to stop Chauvin.

  • They are all charged with depriving Floyd of his rights for failing to provide him with medical assistance.
  • Kueng and Thao have request their trials be separated from Chauvin's so that are not "unfairly prejudiced," per AP. Lane also joined the request.
  • Prosecutors argue that the officers should face trial together because the case comes from the same incident, AP notes.
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