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Chauvin Appears In Federal Court For Additional Civil Rights Charges

Minnesota Department of Corrections via Getty Images

Nicole Silverio Contributor
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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin appeared in federal court on additional charges regarding several civil rights violations, the Associated Press (AP) reported Tuesday.

Chauvin appeared in court virtually from Oak Park Heights, a maximum-security prison, as he faces additional charges for alleged civil rights violations in the death of George Floyd.  The three officers present with Chauvin at the time of Floyd’s death are also charged with violating civil rights while under government authority, AP reported.

The charges allege that Chauvin violated Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and force by a police officer and that he deprived his victim of liberty without due process by failing to provide him with proper medical assistance. (RELATED: Derek Chauvin Files For New Trial After Conviction For Murder Of George Floyd)

At the hearing, Chauvin told U.S. Judge Becky Thorson that he understood the charges brought against him and his rights, according to AP. When Thorson asked if Chauvin knew of his right to a detention hearing, he answered, “I do now, Your Honor…Probably in light of my current circumstances, I believe that would be a moot point.”

The same charges have fallen upon the other officers involved with the Floyd incident. Minneapolis Officers Kueng and Lane reportedly helped Chauvin hold Floyd to the ground, while Officer Thao prevented bystanders from intervening, according to AP.

Chauvin is also charged in a separate case for using excessive force against a black 14-year-old boy. He is specifically accused of holding the teenager by the throat, hitting him in the head with a flashlight, and holding his knee on the boy’s neck and upper back, according to AP.

To bring federal charges against an officer, an officer has to have violated a person’s rights while under governmental authority known as “the color of law” or have knowingly deprived a citizen of their civil and constitutional rights without the law’s “willful” standard, meaning they had a good reason for violating their rights, according to NOLO.

After the jury’s four hour deliberation, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on April 20.

The former officer and his attorney, Eric Nelson, requested a new trial on May 4 arguing that Chauvin’s constitutional right to a fair trial had been violated after the discovery that a juror attended a Black Lives Matter protest.