4 Ex-Cops Indicted By Federal Grand Jury In George Floyd Case

George Floyd, handcuffed on the ground as Officer Derek Chauvin kneels on his neck

All four former Minneapolis police officers involved in the detaining and eventual death of George Floyd have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights.

From the New York Times:

The indictment charges Mr. Chauvin, 45, and other former Minneapolis Police Department officers Tou Thao, 35, J. Alexander Kueng, 27, and Thomas Lane, 38, with willfully depriving Mr. Floyd of his constitutional civil rights during his arrest.

The indictment alleges that by holding his left knee across Mr. Floyd’s neck and his right knee on his back and arm as he lay on the ground, handcuffed and unresisting, Mr. Chauvin used unconstitutional, unreasonable force that resulted in Mr. Floyd’s death.

Mr. Thao and Mr. Kueng were charged with willfully failing to stop Mr. Chauvin from using unreasonable force. All four defendants saw Mr. Floyd lying on the ground in need of medical care and willfully failed to aid him, depriving him of his constitutional right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law, which included Mr. Floyd’s right to be free from an officer’s deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, the indictment said.

Chauvin, who was found guilty on state charges of murder and manslaughter in regard to the incident, was also indicted for another incident involving a 14-year-old boy in 2017.

Chauvin reportedly held the teen by the neck and beat him on the head with a flashlight before holding the teen down with his knee on his neck while handcuffed face down on the ground. Sound familiar?

Thao, Kueng, and Lane still face state charges in the Floyd incident with the trial scheduled for August.

Derek Chauvin Found Guilty On All Charges

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer has been convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin was captured on video last May kneeling on the neck of Floyd during the course of an arrest until he lost consciousness and died.

From the New York Times:

After deliberating for about 10 hours over two days following an emotional trial that lasted three weeks, the jury found Mr. Chauvin, who is white, guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter for the killing of Mr. Floyd, a Black man, on a street corner last year on Memorial Day.

Mr. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced in the coming weeks but is likely to receive far less time. The presumptive sentence for second-degree murder is 12.5 years, according to Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, although the state has asked for a higher sentence.

Read the full article here.

Derrick Johnson, CEO and president of the NAACP, issued this statement:

“While justice landed Derek Chauvin behind bars for killing George Floyd, no amount of justice will bring Gianna’s father back. The same way a reasonable police officer would never suffocate an unarmed man to death, a reasonable justice system would recognize its roots in white supremacy and end qualified immunity. Police are here to protect, not lynch. We will not rest until all in our community have the right to breathe.”


Verdict Reached In Derek Chauvin Trial

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (screen capture)

The jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with manslaughter and murder charges for the death of George Floyd, has reached a verdict in less than a day.

The verdict will be read at 4:30 pm ET.

From NBC News:

The panel of seven women and five men began deliberating Monday after three weeks of witness testimony.

Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The third-degree murder charge had initially been dismissed, but it was reinstated after an appeals court ruling in an unrelated case established new grounds for it days before jury selection started.

Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years. Third-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. Second-degree manslaughter is punishable by up to 10 years.

Chauvin, who is white, knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd, who was Black, was handcuffed and lying on the ground.

During the trial, prosecutors called 38 witnesses. The defense called seven witnesses, two of whom were experts.

Derek Chauvin Invokes 5th Amendment Declining To Testify

Former police officer Derek Chauvin invoked his 5th Amendment right to not testify in his own defense
Former police officer Derek Chauvin invoked his 5th Amendment right to not testify in his own defense
Former police officer Derek Chauvin (screen capture)

Unsurprisingly, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin invoked his 5th Amendment right to not testify

From the New York Times:

Nearing the end of the defense’s case, Mr. Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric J. Nelson, asked Mr. Chauvin whether he would like to testify in his own defense.

Mr. Nelson said he and Mr. Chauvin have had repeated conversations on the matter, including a “lengthy meeting” Wednesday night. Mr. Chauvin, who removed his mask to answer Mr. Nelson’s questions, chose to waive his right to testify.

The judge questioned Chauvin to make sure that he made his decision not to testify on his own in order to prevent any later claim that he was ill-advised by his defense.

Testimony in the case has now concluded and closing arguments will be presented on Monday.

Officer Charged In George Floyd Murder Seeks To Block Evidence Of Prior Neck Restraints

L-R George Floyd (screen capture), Derek Chauvin (mug shot)

The former police officer who held his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds until Floyd lost consciousness and died is asking that evidence of prior use of similar restraints be blocked from being introduced by prosecutors.

From the Washington Post:

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee at George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes and is now charged with his murder, has asked the judge in his case to block prosecutors from introducing evidence of his allegedly having used similar neck and body restraints on other suspects.

Chauvin’s lawyer argues in new court documents that his “use of force” in those cases was legal and cleared by police supervisors.

Prosecutors have said they want to cite eight incidents from Chauvin’s 19-year career as a Minneapolis police officer to show a pattern of excessive force and behavior similar to the Memorial Day encounter that left Floyd dead.

Prosecutors want to include four cases from 2014 to 2019 in which they claim Chauvin restrained suspects “beyond the point when such force was needed.”

Read more at the Washington Post.

Trump: George Floyd Protesters ‘Didn’t Know Why They Were Protesting’

In an interview with Fox News’ Harris Faulkner today, Donald Trump declared many of those protesting in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder “didn’t know” why they were there.

The remarks came after Faulkner asked what the Donald believes the protesters across the county want or need from him.

“So I think you had protesters for different reasons, and then you had protesting also because they just didn’t know,” Trump said. “I’ve watched. I watched it very closely. ‘Why are you here?’ And they really weren’t able to say. But they were there — for a reason perhaps.


“But a lot of them really were there because they’re following the crowd,” he continued. “A lot of them were there because what we witnessed was a terrible thing. What we saw was a terrible thing, and we’ve seen it over the years. You know, this was one horrible example. but you’ve seen other terrible examples. You know that better than anybody would know it. And I know it. I’ve seen it too. I’ve seen it before I was president and during the presidency, I’ve seen it.”

Earlier in the interview, Trump labeled the protests as ‘riots’ and ‘unnecessary.’

He also said that the date of his first campaign rally since the beginning of the COVID-19 health threat on Juneteenth wasn’t scheduled ‘on purpose.’

“The fact that I’m having a rally on that day — you can really think about that very positively as a celebration. Because a rally to me is a celebration,” Trump said. “It’s an interesting date. It wasn’t done for that reason, but it’s an interesting date.”

As many know, June 19 is recognized as Juneteenth, the day the last slaves in the United States were freed. The Trump campaign picked Tulsa, Oklahoma, as the location for the rally.

Black activists consider the date and the location a slap in the face in light of the 1921 ‘Black Massacre’ that occurred in the city 99 years ago. Nearly 300 Black Americans were killed in the incident that was sparked by the accusation a young Black man assaulted a white woman.

More Arrests In George Floyd Killing, Officials Upgrade Derek Chauvin’s Murder Charge

George Floyd under the knee of former police officer Derek Chauvin (screen capture)

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee on an unarmed Black man’s neck until he lost consciousness, has had his murder charge upgraded.

The other three fired officers who were present at the incident have now been charged as well.

From the New York Times:

Minnesota officials charged three more former police officers on Wednesday in the death of George Floyd, and added a higher charge to those already lodged against the former officer who pressed his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Keith Ellison, the attorney general of Minnesota, announced the charges at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The three officers, Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34, were charged with aiding and abetting murder, court records show. Mr. Kueng was in custody on Wednesday, county jail records showed. The authorities said they were in the process of arresting Mr. Lane and Mr. Thao.

The fourth officer, Derek Chauvin, 44, who was arrested last week, faces an increased charge of second-degree murder.

Independent Autopsy Shows George Floyd Died Of Asphyxiation

L-R George Floyd (screen capture), Derek Chauvin (mug shot)

An independent autopsy found George Floyd died of asphyxiation diverging from the official report released last week.

From the LA Times:

An autopsy commissioned for George Floyd’s family found that he died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression when a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes and ignored his cries of distress, the family’s attorneys said Monday.

The autopsy by a doctor who also examined Eric Garner’s body found the compression cut off blood to Floyd’s brain, and weight on his back made it hard to breathe, attorney Ben Crump said at a news conference.

The family’s autopsy differs from the official autopsy as described in a criminal complaint against the officer. That autopsy included the effects of being restrained, along with underlying health issues and potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system, but also said it found nothing “to support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

Floyd, a black man who was in handcuffs at the time, died after the white officer ignored bystander shouts to get off him and Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe.

Louisville Police Fires Pepper Balls At Local News Crew

(screen capture)

Louisville’s NBC News affiliate reports the station’s own reporter, Kaitlin Rust, and photojournalist James Dobson, were hit by pepper balls reportedly fired by an LMPD officer during a protest in downtown Louisville Friday night.

It was previously reported that the officer was firing rubber bullets, but Jessie Halladay with the Louisville Metro Police Department said LMPD officers do not use rubber bullets, and it was likely that was Rust and Dobson were hit with pepper balls.

In response to what happened to Rust and Dobson, WAVE 3 News General Manager Ken Selvaggi issued a statement saying, “We strongly condemn the actions of the LMPD officer who tonight repeatedly fired at and hit our reporter and cameraman, both of whom were courageously and lawfully covering breaking news in their community. There is simply no justification for the Louisville police to wantonly open fire, even with pepper balls, on any journalists under any circumstances.”

During night two of several hundred protesters gathering downtown, crowds appear to be larger and police are continuing their efforts to clear the area.

Watch the brief video clip of the encounter below. One commenter on the YouTube page wrote, “It’s almost like they [police] are trying to start a war with civilians.”