DOJ Was Prepared to Arrest Derek Chauvin on Civil Rights Charges If He Wasn't Found Guilty

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Tara C. Mahadevan
·2 min read
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Image via Getty/ANGELA WEISS

Derek Chauvin would have immediately faced another set of civil rights-related charges if he hadn’t been found guilty in the killing of George Floyd, or if the case had been ruled a mistrial.

Minnesota’s Star Tribune reports that the Department of Justice was preparing to arrest Chauvin at the courthouse for the new round of violations. Prosecutors are still going to bring charges against him but will do so through a grand jury indictment. Their initial plan—if he hadn’t been found guilty—was to arrest him via criminal complaint and pursue an indictment from a grand jury.

The new set of charges against Chauvin are related to Floyd’s murder and the brutal arrest of a Black 14-year-old boy in 2017. News of the Justice Department investigating Chauvin over this incident emerged earlier this week.

The DOJ postponed the new indictment so it wouldn’t affect the results of the murder trial, with federal prosecutors forming the police violence case against Chauvin and three former Minneapolis officers over the span of several months. The other cops charged in Floyd’s murder are J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao. Additionally, the DOJ is opening another civil investigation into how the Minneapolis Police Department operates.

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd. The former cop’s sentencing hearing is set for June, where he could be hit with up to 40 years in prison. Kueng, Lane, and Thao’s trial is slated for August, where they have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

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