A federal grand jury in Minneapolis has indicted four ex-police officers involved in the arrest and death of George Floyd on charges they violated Floyd’s civil rights while detaining him last year, according to court documents unsealed on Friday. The three-count indictment names Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane as defendants and charges them with depriving Floyd of his constitutional right not to be deprived of liberty without due process under the law, which includes his right to not have his medical needs ignored. “The defendants saw George Floyd lying on the ground in clear need of medical care, and willfully failed to aid Floyd,” the indictment says.
In a confrontation captured on video, Chauvin, who is white, pushed his knee into the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in handcuffs, for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020, as he and the three other officers arrested Floyd, who was accused of using a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a grocery store.
Floyd’s death prompted protests against racism and police brutality last year in many cities across the United States and around the world.
Chauvin was convicted of Minnesota state murder charges last month. His lawyers have requested a new trial, saying that there was prosecutorial and jury misconduct and errors of law at trial and that the verdict was contrary to the law.
The indictment charges Chauvin, Thao and Kueng with depriving Floyd of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure – by unrelentingly kneeling on Floyd’s neck, in Chauvin’s case, and by failing to intervene, in Thao and Kueng’s case.
Thao, Kueng and Lane, all of whom were fired and arrested days after Floyd died last May, face charges at a trial on Aug. 23 that they aided and abetted second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of Floyd.