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U.S. charges officers in George Floyd’s death


From left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, face charges with Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. Associated Press/Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office

U.S. charges officers in George Floyd’s death

A federal grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers on civil rights charges, the Justice Department announced on Friday. The charges allege Chauvin violated Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and force by a police officer when he restrained Floyd on the ground as he struggled to breathe. Floyd’s death almost a year ago sparked nationwide protests against police. Ex-officers J. Kueng and Tou Thao are accused of failing to intervene. They, along with Thomas Lane, are also charged with failing to give Floyd medical help. The bar for a federal conviction is high: The prosecution must prove the officers willfully violated Floyd’s constitutional rights.

What is the status of the state case against the officers? Last month, a state trial convicted Chauvin of murder and manslaughter, and a judge will sentence him in June. Earlier this week, Chauvin’s attorney requested a new trial, claiming the first one was unfair and the court abused its discretion. Kueng, Thao, and Lane are set for a state trial in August.

Dig deeper: Read Sharon Dierberger’s report on two pastors’ responses to the Chauvin verdict.


Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty fighting and prison reform, including profiling ministries in the annual Hope Awards for Effective Compassion competition. She is also a part of WORLD's investigative unit, the Caleb Team. Charissa resides with her husband, Josh, in Austin, Texas.

@CharissaKoh

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Big Jim

"The bar for a federal conviction is high: The prosecution must prove the officers willfully violated Floyd’s constitutional rights."

I wish this were true. These days, the only thing that needs to happen is for one member of the jury to be scared out of their minds that if they vote the "wrong" way the mob will show up at their front door.