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Derek Chauvin pleads not guilty to violating teen’s civil rights during 2017 arrest

The incarcerated ex-cop is accused of kneeling on a Black 14-year-old’s neck.

Derek Chauvin Minnesota Department of Corrections

Incarcerated ex-police officer Derek Chauvin pleaded not guilty on Thursday (Sept. 16) to allegedly using unreasonable force against a Black teenager in September of 2017. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Chauvin violated the 14-year-old’s civil rights when he held him “by the throat and struck” him “multiple times in the head with a flashlight.”

The department also claims the former Minneapolis cop “held his knee on the neck and the upper back of the teenager even after the teenager was lying prone, handcuffed and unresisting, also resulting in bodily injury.”

In a 2017 police report about the encounter, Chauvin wrote that the teen, whom he described as 6-foot-2 and about 240 pounds, resisted arrest. While handcuffed, Chauvin admitted to using his own “bodyweight to pin” the teen on the ground. The boy bled from his ear during the incident and ended up needing two stitches, NPR writes.

The charges are separate from Chauvin’s April conviction, where he was found guilty of murdering George Floyd. As reported by REVOLT, Chauvin was sentenced to 22 12 years in prison and found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

During his trial, prosecutors mentioned Chauvin’s 2017 encounter with the teen, and others, to argue that the ex-cop had a history of using neck and upper body restraints “beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances.”

Thursday’s court appearance marks Chauvin’s second arraignment this week. On Tuesday (Sept. 14), he and former Minneapolis cops Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao pleaded not guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights when they arrested and killed him on May 25, 2020.

The federal indictment specifically accused Chauvin of violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and from unreasonable force by a police officer. The Justice Department also claims all four of the individuals violated Floyd’s rights when they failed to offer him any medical aid.

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