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Derek Chauvin And Three Former Minneapolis Cops Have Been Charged With Violating George Floyd's Civil Rights

Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng allegedly violated Floyd's constitutional rights during a deadly arrest in 2020.

Last updated on May 7, 2021, at 3:39 p.m. ET

Posted on May 7, 2021, at 10:53 a.m. ET

/ AP

Left to right: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao

Four former Minneapolis police officers were indicted by a federal grand jury Friday on charges that they violated George Floyd's civil rights during an arrest last year in which Floyd was violently restrained and killed.

Derek Chauvin, who crushed Floyd's neck with his knee, is charged with violating Floyd's constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer. Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng are charged with violating Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable seizure after failing to intervene on Chauvin's use of unreasonable force. The three men and Thomas Lane, another former officer, are also charged with failing to provide Floyd with medical care.

Chauvin also faces separate federal charges for a 2017 incident in which he allegedly held a 14-year-old by the neck, beat them with a flashlight, and pressed his knee on their neck and upper back as they were handcuffed and not resisting.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin's defense attorney, declined to comment on the federal charges.

A police officer for nearly two decades, Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd in a high-profile state trial last month and is currently awaiting sentencing in prison.

Lane, Thao, and Kueng are facing a joint state trial in August.

Floyd was killed during an encounter with the four officers on May 25 last year, after a grocery store employee alleged that he used a fake $20 bill. Bystander video captured Chauvin pushing his knee into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly begged for air and said he could not breathe.

The graphic video sparked a national outcry against police brutality and racial injustice that reverberated around the world, and the four officers were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.