(The Center Square) – Four former Minneapolis police officers pleaded not guilty to federal charges they abused their authority to detain George Floyd in 2020.
In May, a federal grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao for allegedly depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority on May 25, 2020. A bystander’s video of the altercation leading to Floyd’s death spread worldwide.
Charges allege that Thao and Kueng willfully failed to intervene to stop Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force, resulting in Floyd’s death. Another charge alleges that all four defendants saw Floyd lying on the ground in need of medical care and willfully failed to aid him. The indictment alleges that all four defendants willfully deprived Floyd of his constitutional right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law.
"This offense resulted in bodily injury to, and the death of George Floyd," the charges state.
All four men appeared remotely. Chauvin is serving a 22.5-year sentence for Floyd’s murder. He’s also charged with violating the rights of a 14-year-old boy in 2017. The other three former officers will stand trial in March 2022 on charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
Separately, the federal government is investigating Minneapolis’ policing practices.