Derek Chauvin, 45, faces an additional 20 years in prison for allegedly violating the civil rights of a 14-year-old black boy
The former Minneapolis cop who murdered George Floyd has denied federal charges violating a black teenagers civil rights by kneeling on the boy’s neck – just like he did while killing Floyd.
Derek Chauvin, 45, pleaded not guilty to the charges in Minneapolis on Thursday morning. He appeared via videolink for the brief hearing.
He was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison earlier this year for killing Floyd when he stopped Floyd, 46, from breathing by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes on Memorial Day 2020.
Hennepin County prosecutors in Minneapolis claim Chauvin had used the same restraint method that killed Floyd on an unnamed 14-year-old black boy in September 2017, depriving the teen of his right to be free of unreasonable force.
The boy was cuffed during the 17 minute restraint, and is said to have cried out for his mother, with Chauvin’s arrest reportedly leaving him bleeding.
Chauvin allegedly held the teen by the throat, hit him in the head multiple times with a flashlight and held his knee on the boy’s neck and upper back while the teen was lying on the ground, handcuffed and not resisting, The Star Tribune reports.
The boy was bleeding from the ear and needed two stiches.
Chauvin at his sentencing in June where he was sent to prison for 22 and a half years for George Floyd’s murder
Chauvin is accused of using the same restraint that ended in George Floyd’s death, pictured, to arrest a handcuffed 14 year-old boy
According to the police record of the incident, Chauvin described the 14-year-old as 6-foot-2 and 240 lbs., and claimed the teen was resisting arrest.
The incident came to light as prosecutors searched through Chauvin’s record to prove he had a record of using the controversial restraint tactic before Floyd’s death.
Prosecutors found four incidents since 2014 that they said went too far, ‘beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances.’
Chauvin is charged with two counts over the 2017 incident.
One for injuring the boy with a weapon, and the another for the method in which he arrested the teen that violated his civil rights.
On each of these charges, Chauvin faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine.
Chauvin appearing remotely from Minnesota’s maximum security prison Oak Park Heights on September 14, on separate federal charges of violating George Floyd’s civil rights
Chauvin will face the civil rights violation trial alongside (left to right): J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao
Floyd (pictured) died Memorial Day 2020 when Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest over a counterfeit bill
Chauvin and fellow fired Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao, 35, J Alexander Kueng, 27, and Thomas Lane, 38, were arraigned Tuesday on charges of willfully violating Floyd’s civil rights.
He appeared via videolink for that hearing.
Floyd died Memorial Day 2020 after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes.
Floyd, who was handcuffed, was heard repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe and calling out for his mom before he lost consciousness.
Kueng and Lane helped restrain Floyd, with Kueng kneeling on his back and Lane holding down Floyd’s legs, according to evidence in state court.
Thao held back bystanders and stopped them from intervening during the deadly arrest.
All four former cops entered not guilty pleas at Tuesday’s hearing and waived their rights to have the charges read out to them in court.
Chauvin was also charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and force by a police officer, while Thao and Kueng were each charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure by failing to intervene to stop Chauvin using unreasonable force.
If convicted, all four disgraced officers could face the federal death penalty or life in prison.
Court sketch of the arraignment shows Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane with their attorneys, the prosecutor and the court judge
Tou Thao leaves the Hennepin County courthouse in Minneapolis on July 21 2020 following a state hearing
Thomas Lane (right) and J. Alexander Kueng (second from right) in September 2020
The federal charges are separate to the state charges against the four cops who were all fired from Minneapolis Police Department the day after Floyd’s murder.
Thao, Kueng and Lane are awaiting a state trial in March on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. They have all pleaded not guilty.
The four defendants each appeared via videoconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chauvin was asked to mute his microphone at one point due to background noise from Minnesota’s maximum security prison Oak Park Heights where he appeared remotely via video link.
The other three defendants appeared remotely alongside their attorneys.
The judge asked the prosecution and the defense about the number of experts they expect to present to the court at trial.
The prosecution said they will present testimony from medical experts and use of force experts but they were unsure about the number of experts at this time.
The attorneys for the defendants each said they would also call medical and use of force experts.
Chauvin is led away in handcuffs after being convicted of all charges in his criminal case in the state of Minnesota in April
Around 40 pretrial motions were also argued during the hearing.
Thao, Kueng and Lane have asked that they stand trial separately to Chauvin, claiming they would be unfairly prejudiced if they went to trial alongside the convicted murderer.
Attorneys for Kueng and Thao filed a motion in August, saying evidence against Chauvin would confuse the jury and deprive them of their right to a fair trial.
Lane’s attorney then filed a motion asking to join their request.
Prosecutors are arguing they should all be tried together because the charges stem from the same event and the evidence is similar.
The defendants have until October 12 to submit their briefings and the government has until October 26 to respond.