HomeArts & EntertainmentArtFormer Officers Plead Not Guilty in George Floyd Civil Rights Case

Former Officers Plead Not Guilty in George Floyd Civil Rights Case

Four former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights were arraigned in federal court and pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, as the Associated Press reports.

Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Keung and Tou Thao were indicted by a federal grand jury in for allegedly depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority. In April, Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd and manslaughter; he was sentenced to a 22.5 year prison sentence in June. Chauvin pressed his knee on the black, unarmed father of five’s neck for nine-and-a-half minutes on May 25th, 2020. The other three officers face trial on aiding and abetting counts in March 2022.

At Tuesday’s hearing, all four former officers pleaded not guilty. The judge is also set to hear arguments over several pretrial motions on Tuesday.

The federal indictment alleges Chauvin violated Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer, while Thao and Keung are charged for not intervening to stop Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd’s neck. All four former officers are charged with depriving Floyd of his rights when they failed to provide Floyd with medical care.

When the officers arrested Floyd, Chauvin pressed his weight into Floyd’s neck while holding him face down on the pavement, which deprived Floyd of oxygen, as prosecutors argued during Chauvin’s murder trial. Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe. Keung and Lane assisted in restraining Floyd and Lane held Floyd’s legs, according to evidence in state court via NBC News. Thao kept bystanders at bay, preventing them from helping Floyd. Floyd’s murder sparked worldwide protests against police brutality and institutionalized racism.

This is a developing story

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