Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been indicted by a federal grand jury for reportedly kneeling on a 14-year-old Black boy for 17 minutes during a 2017 arrest. Chauvin, who was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd last month and is currently awaiting sentencing in prison, is said to have used excessive and unnecessary force during the September 4, 2017 incident when he knelt on the teen’s neck, the same move that led to Floyd’s death.
- The charges won’t exactly come as a shock. In November 2020, the Star Tribune pointed out that Floyd’s murder wasn’t the first time Chauvin had used potentially deadly f0rce on a Black person while on duty. While it took several months for prosecutors to gather facts and evidence, they now feel they have enough to charge Chauvin in the 2017 case.
- Chauvin violated the teen’s rights. According to the two-count indictment released by the US Justice Department and cited by CNN, Chauvin is accused of robbing the then-14-year-old boy of his “constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer.”
- The alleged victim is said to have called out for his mother. Chauvin was called out to a property in Minneapolis along with a fellow officer when his mother called police to claim that her two children were assaulting her. Chauvin reportedly told the victim that he was under arrest before striking him with a torch and putting him in the prone position, Insider reports. At that point, the teen called out for his mother and asked Chauvin to stop hurting him.
- What Chauvin did was extremely unnecessary. According to one count, Chauvin “held Juvenile by the throat and struck Juvenile 1 multiple times in the head with a flashlight” with no legal justification.” The count surmised: “This offense included the use of a dangerous weapon — a flashlight — and resulted in bodily injury to Juvenile 1.” The second count alleged that Chauvin “held his knee on the neck and the upper back of the teenager even after the teenager was lying prone, handcuffed, and unresisting, also resulting in bodily injury.”
- Chauvin and his lawyer have yet to respond to the new indictment. However, Floyd’s family say that it shows “a pattern and practice of behavior.”