The four former Minneapolis police officers who participated in the murder of George Floyd last year were indicted on Friday by a grand jury with charges of federal civil rights crimes. Separately, Derek Chauvin—who was found guilty on April 20 of all three counts of murder for kneeling on George Floyd’s neck and causing his asphyxiation—was also indicted on two counts of civil rights violations for a 2017 assault on a Minneapolis teenager.
The two grand jury indictments—filed in the US District Court of Minnesota—were published by the US Department of Justice along with a press release that states, “The first indictment charges former Minneapolis Police Department officers Derek Chauvin, 45; Tou Thao, 35; J. Alexander Kueng, 27; and Thomas Lane, 38, with federal civil rights crimes for their roles in the death of George Perry Floyd Jr.”
Both indictments charge the former cops of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 242, Deprivation of Rights Under the Color of Law, which states that it is a crime for an official acting with the authority of law enforcement to willfully violate a person’s constitutional rights.
In the first indictment, count one is against Chauvin for kneeling on Floyd’s neck which, “resulted in bodily injury to and the death of, George Floyd.” Count two is against Thao and Kueng, who, “willfully failed to intervene to stop Defendant Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force.” Count three charges all four officers with having, “willfully failed to aid Floyd, thereby acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm,” when they saw him in clear need of medical care.
The Justice Department announcement says that the new charges are separate from both the charges brought against the officers for criminal offenses against Minnesota state laws and the federal investigation into the civil pattern and practice of the City of Minneapolis and its police department.
The second indictment contains two counts of civil rights violations by Chauvin against a 14-year-old student from Minneapolis on September 4, 2017. The first count states that Chauvin “without legal justification, held Juvenile 1 by the throat and struck Juvenile 1 multiple times in the head with a flashlight.” The assault was conducted with “a dangerous weapon—a flashlight—and resulted in bodily injury to Juvenile 1.”
The second count states that Chauvin also violated the youth’s civil rights by pressing “his knee on the neck and the upper back of Juvenile 1 even after Juvenile I was lying prone, handcuffed, and unresisting.”
According to CNN, court documents filed by Minnesota prosecutors show that the 2017 incident began with a domestic assault call to the Minneapolis police. The incident involved a mother who was intoxicated attacking her teenage daughter with a curling iron.
Minneapolis police officers arrived on the scene and, after the 14-year-old brother of the girl refused commands to exit his bedroom, Chauvin choked him, assaulted him with the flashlight and then kneeled on his neck and back.
The CNN report said the youth had blood coming from his ear and, at some point, he lost consciousness from Chauvin’s application of a “neck restraint.” The court documents stated, “The child began repeatedly telling the officers that he could not breathe, and his mother told Chauvin to take his knee off her son.”
In his police report, Chauvin falsified the facts of what occurred and charged both teenagers with domestic assault and the boy with obstruction of justice but “their mother declined to press charges.” Police body camera footage established that Chauvin assaulted the teenage boy within 41 seconds of instructing him to exit the bedroom.
Behind the federal grand jury indictments is Biden administration Attorney General Merrick Garland and the efforts of the Democratic Party to press its agenda of “police reform” as a means of assuaging popular outrage over the epidemic of Americans being killed at a rate of three per day across the country. As pointed out by Jonathan M. Smith, Executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, civil rights prosecution of police officers requires proof of willfulness, the highest intent standard under criminal law.
The Washington Post reports that over a ten-year period from 2005 to 2014 while more than 10,000 people were killed by police, “153 officers were charged, or about 1.5 percent, according to a database maintained by Philip Matthew Stinson at Bowling Green University.” Of those charged, approximately 76 resulted in convictions or less than three-quarters of one percent of the total number of killings.
Further evidence that the political establishment is seeking to use the Minneapolis officers involved in Floyd’s public execution to contain public outrage over ongoing police violence is the statement of Reverend Al Sharpton of the National Action Network. Sharpton hailed the latest indictments as a “significant development” for police reform, contrasting them with the 2014 police killings of Eric Garner on Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in which no federal charges were brought. Sharpton, of course, failed to mention that those instances of police murder took place during the administration of Democrat Barack Obama.
The federal indictments against the four former Minneapolis officers for civil rights violations furthermore shoots a hole in the narrative promoted by the Democrats and their pseudo-left appendages who claim that police violence is a manifestation of anti-black racism by whites. The team of Minneapolis cops includes—in addition to Derek Chauvin and Thomas Lane, who are white—Tou Thao, who is Asian-American, and J. Alexander Kueng, who is African American.