A federal grand jury in Minneapolis indicted derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thaos.
A federal grand jury in the United States indicted four former police officers, including Derek Chauvin, on Friday for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of African-American George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May last year, caused a wave of protests in the country against police brutality and for racial justice.
Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao are accused of failing to provide Floyd with medical aid. These indictments come after Chauvin was convicted last month by a jury of second-degree manslaughter, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
The other three former police officers faced a state trial in August and are out on bail. Lane, Thao, and Kueng appeared for the first time on Friday by videoconference before the United States District Court in Minneapolis. He were allowed to remain free after the hearing. Chauvin did not participate in the appearance.
Specifically, the federal grand jury describes that Chauvin pressed his left knee against the victim's neck and his right knee on the back and an arm. At the same time, Floyd was handcuffed and without resisting, and even when he lost consciousness. The prosecution contends that Chauvin's actions violated Floyd's constitutional right to freedom from an officer's unreasonable use of force, resulting in his death.
Thao and Kueng are also accused of violating Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable detention, claiming that they did not intervene to arrest Chauvin when he knelt on Floyd's neck. All four are accused of failing to provide him with medical attention.
For his part, Chauvin requested this Tuesday the annulment of the verdict that was known on April 20, pointing out, among other arguments, "inappropriate behavior" of the jury. The petition was filed after a picture of a jury member was spread in a racist demonstration, which was not considered by the defense.
Just over a week after the historic verdict, one of the jurors, Brandon Mitchell, a 31-year-old black man, gave several interviews to encourage African-Americans to be part of the juries. He said Like voting, it can assist make about change.
Mitchell is one of only two judges to be publicly recognized after a high-profile trial. Following the interviews, an image of Mitchell was released on social media in which he wears a T-shirt with a photo of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. along with the phrase "Take your knee off our necks," and the acronym "BLM" From the Black Lives Matter movement.
Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, called for a hearing to dismiss the improper jury conduct, threats, intimidation and pressure, which weighed heavily on him and / or his failure to follow instructions during the negotiations.
He also demanded a fresh trial because the judge had refused to transfer the case and isolate the judges during the hearing. So much so that, according to him, he was influenced by the strong media coverage of the case.
After three weeks of debate and a brief deliberation by the 12-member jury, Chauvin - who was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes - was found guilty and immediately jailed. The penalty to which he will be subjected will be known on June 25.