Chauvin faces hearing on federal charges in Floyd’s death

Jun 1, 2021, 9:44 AM | Updated: 1:38 pm
FILE - In this April 20, 2021, file image from video, defendant, former Minneapolis police Officer ...

FILE - In this April 20, 2021, file image from video, defendant, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, listens to verdicts at his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin, convicted of murder in the death of Floyd is scheduled to make his initial appearance via videoconference, Tuesday, June 1, 2021, on federal charges that he violated Floyd's civil rights when he placed his knee on the Black man's neck, pinning him to the street. (Court TV via AP, Pool, File)

(Court TV via AP, Pool, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in George Floyd’s death is scheduled to make an initial appearance Tuesday in federal court to face charges alleging he violated Floyd’s civil rights by pinning the Black man to the pavement with his knee.

Derek Chauvin, 45, is scheduled to appear in federal court via videoconference from Minnesota’s maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights, where he’s being held as he awaits sentencing following his April conviction on murder and manslaughter charges.

The federal charges allege Chauvin violated Floyd’s rights as he restrained him face-down while he was handcuffed, not resisting and gasping for air. Three other former officers — J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — face similar federal charges. Chauvin is also charged in a separate indictment alleging he violated the rights of a 14-year-old boy in 2017.

Floyd, 46, repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe as Chauvin pinned him to the ground. Kueng and Lane helped restrain Floyd — Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held down Floyd’s legs. Thao held back bystanders and kept them from intervening during the 9 1/2-minute restraint that was captured on bystander video and led to worldwide protests and calls for change in policing.

While all four officers are charged broadly with depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority, the counts that name Chauvin allege he violated Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and from unreasonable force by a police officer. They also allege he and the others deprived Floyd of liberty without due process when they failed to provide him with medical care.

Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, argued during Chauvin’s murder trial that the officer acted reasonably and Floyd died because of underlying health issues and drug use. He has filed a request for a new trial.

To bring federal charges in deaths involving police, prosecutors must believe an officer acted under the “color of law,” or government authority, and willfully deprived someone’s constitutional rights. That’s a high legal standard. An accident, bad judgment or simple negligence on the officer’s part isn’t enough to support federal charges; prosecutors have to prove the officers knew what they were doing was wrong in that moment but did it anyway.

The federal case sends a strong message about the Justice Department’s priorities. When President Joe Biden was elected, he promised he’d work to end disparities in the criminal justice system. Federal prosecutors have also brought hate crimes charges in the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and the Justice Department has launched sweeping investigations into the police departments in Minneapolis and Louisville, Kentucky.

The other indictment against Chauvin alleges he deprived a then-14-year-old boy, who is Black, of his right to be free of unreasonable force when he held the teen by the throat, hit him in the head with a flashlight and held his knee on the boy’s neck and upper back while he was prone, handcuffed and not resisting.

According to a police report from that 2017 encounter, Chauvin wrote that the teen resisted arrest and after the teen, whom he described as 6-foot-2 and about 240 pounds, was handcuffed, Chauvin “used body weight to pin” him to the floor. The boy was bleeding from the ear and needed two stitches.

That encounter was one of several mentioned in state court filings that prosecutors said showed Chauvin had used neck or head and upper body restraints seven times previously dating back to 2014. In four of those instances, state prosecutors said he went too far and held the restraints “beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances.”

Chauvin was convicted in April on state charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Experts say he will likely face no more than 30 years in prison when he is sentenced June 25. If convicted in the federal case, any federal sentence would be served at the same time as his state sentence.

The other former officers face charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. They are free on bond and face state trial in March.

___

Find AP’s full coverage of the death of George Floyd at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              FILE - In this April 20, 2021 file image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin's trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Chauvin, convicted of murder in the death of Floyd is scheduled to make his initial appearance via videoconference, Tuesday, June 1, 2021, on federal charges that he violated Floyd's civil rights when he placed his knee on the Black man's neck, pinning him to the street. (Court TV via AP, Pool, File)
            
              FILE - In this April 20, 2021, file image from video, defendant, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, listens to verdicts at his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin, convicted of murder in the death of Floyd is scheduled to make his initial appearance via videoconference, Tuesday, June 1, 2021, on federal charges that he violated Floyd's civil rights when he placed his knee on the Black man's neck, pinning him to the street. (Court TV via AP, Pool, File)

AP

FILE - A pumpjack as seen on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in Tatum, New Mexico. For the second time t...
Associated Press

House GOP seeks new restrictions on use of US oil stockpile

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the second time this month, House Republicans are seeking to restrict presidential use of the nation’s emergency oil stockpile — a proposal that has already drawn a White House veto threat. A GOP bill set for a vote Friday would require the government to offset any non-emergency withdrawals from the Strategic […]
22 hours ago
Research and development engineer Ravneet Kailey performs an experiment to produce steel without us...
Associated Press

US company gets $120 million boost to make ‘green steel’

The manufacture of “green steel” moved one step closer to reality Friday as Massachusetts-based Boston Metal announced a $120 million investment from the world’s second-largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal. Boston Metal will use the injection of funds to expand production at a pilot plant in Woburn, near Boston, and help launch commercial production in Brazil. The company […]
22 hours ago
Passengers coming from China arrive at the Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, o...
Associated Press

South Korea extends restrictions on travelers from China

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says it will continue to restrict the entry of short-term travelers from China through the end of February over concerns that the spread of COVID-19 in that country may worsen following the Lunar New Year’s holidays. South Korea in early January stopped issuing most short-term visas at its […]
22 hours ago
FILE - In this April 4, 2017, file photo, fountains erupt along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. A...
Associated Press

Lawsuit: Vegas Strip resorts used vendor to fix hotel rates

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal lawsuit in Nevada is seeking class-action damages for countless hotel patrons who booked rooms in Las Vegas since 2019, alleging that most hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have used a third-party vendor to illegally fix prices. The complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas alleges […]
22 hours ago
Brittany Lampkin of Yazoo County, extolls the Mississippi Black Women's Roundtable legislative agen...
Associated Press

Maternal deaths and disparities increase in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Deaths from pregnancy complications have become more prevalent in Mississippi, and racial disparities in the health of those who give birth have widened in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Health. The Mississippi Maternal Mortality Report shows that the maternal mortality rate increased by […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Jury: $1M to Oregon woman told ‘I don’t serve Black people’

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has awarded an Oregon woman $1 million in damages after finding she was discriminated against by a gas station employee who told her, “I don’t serve Black people.” The Multnomah County jury’s award this week to Portland resident Rose Wakefield, 63, included punitive damages of $550,000. Wakefield’s lawyer, Gregory […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Chauvin faces hearing on federal charges in Floyd’s death