A federal grand jury has indicted the four ex-Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s horrific death. The three-count indictment was unsealed Friday (May 7) by the Department of Justice naming Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao.
All of them are accused of willfully violating the Black man’s constitutional rights as he was restrained face-down on the pavement and calling for his mama nearly one year ago.
Chauvin is charged with unreasonable force by a police officer. Specifically, the document from the DOJ states, “Chauvin held his left knee across George Floyd’s neck, and his right knee on Floyd’s back and arm as Mr. Floyd lay on the ground, handcuffed, and unremitting, and kept his knees on Mr. Floyd’s neck and body even after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive.”
Thao and Kueng are charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure because they “willfully failed to intervene to stop Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force.” And all four officers are charged for their failure to provide Floyd with medical care.
In a second unrelated indictment, Chauvin was also charged for the arrest and neck restraint of a 14-year-old boy in 2017.
George Floyd’s family attorney, Ben Crump, released a statement following the news of the indictments. “Today’s federal indictments for criminal civil rights violations associated with the murder of George Floyd reinforces the strength and wisdom of the United States constitution,” the statement reads. “The constitution claims to be committed to life, liberty and justice, and we are seeing this realized in the justice George Floyd continues to receive. This comes after hundreds of years of American history in which Black Americans unfortunately did not receive equal justice. The constitutional violations that George suffered are clear, and were also detailed by our civil litigation team last July. Further, the additional indictment of Derek Chauvin shows a pattern and practice of bad behavior. We are encouraged by these charges and eager to see continued justice in this historic case that will impact Black citizens and all Americans for generations to come.”