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DOJ to charge ex-cops involved in George Floyd’s death with civil rights violations

The Justice Department will ask a grand jury to indict Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao on federal charges.

Ex-Officers George Floyd MPD

Federal prosecutors are reportedly planning to move forward with plans to charge the four former Minneapolis police officers who were involved in George Floyd’s death with civil rights violations.

According to multiple reports, the Justice Department will ask a grand jury to indict Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao. The DOJ reportedly spent months collecting evidence to indict Chauvin on federal police brutality charges, but chose to keep it under wraps so that the state’s murder trial would not be disrupted.

The DOJ came up with a plan to arrest Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse if he were to be acquitted on the murder and manslaughter charges.

However, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death last week. Now that the state trial is finished, federal prosecutors can proceed with their case. Prosecutors also want to indict Chauvin in connection with a 2017 violent arrest of a 14-year-old Black boy.

If the grand jury indicts the officers, they would face new civil rights charges on top of their charges from the state — meaning all four ex-cops could face a criminal trial in federal court.

Kueng, Lane and Thao face will stand trial together in August for their role in Floyd’s death. They are currently charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. All four men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Chauvin is set to be sentenced on June 25. He is facing up to 40 years behind bars for his most serious charge. The maximum sentence for third-degree murder is imprisonment up to 25 years and the maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and/or a $20,000 fine. The former cop does not have a prior criminal record, so the chance of him receiving the max sentence is very unlikely.

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