Former Officers Involved in Floyd’s Murder Plead Not Guilty to Federal Charges

In Summary

The four former police officers involved in the death of George Floyd in May 2020 pleaded not guilty to federal charges. 

The four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s death pleaded not guilty on federal charges after being arraigned Tuesday morning.  

Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng faced a judge via Zoom Tuesday morning on charges alleging they violated Floyd’s civil rights, according to WHAS 11.  

RELATED: Former Officers Involved in Floyd Murder Indicted on US Civil Rights Charges  

In May, a federal grand jury accused the officers of violating Floyd’s constitutional rights while he was restrained and face down on the pavement as he begged to breathe, the Associated Press reported.  

Chauvin, Thao and Kueng were charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and excessive force. All of the officers were charged for their failure to give Floyd medical care.  

Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison on state charges for murdering Floyd. His lawyers were aiming for a lesser sentence, but prosecutors sought 30 years. After weeks of witness and expert testimony, jurors in the case found Chauvin guilty on all counts after one day of deliberation. Judge Peter Cahill ruled there were aggravating factors in the case that were proven beyond a reasonable doubt including abuse of power, treating Floyd with particular cruelty, the presence of children and group participation in a crime.    

RELATED: Trial Delayed for Three Former Minneapolis Officers Involved in George Floyd Murder 

Keung, Lane and Thao will stand trial on state charges in March 2022. The trial was originally set for August, but was moved after the federal charges against them were announced.  

The officers do not want the trial live streamed because they think some witnesses will withdraw from testifying if it is broadcasted. “Cameras in the Chauvin courtroom brought us to the dangerous pass where people are deterred from testifying for the defense because they fear the wrath of the crowd,” their lawyer wrote.  

RELATED: 3 Former Cops Chared in George Floyd’s Death Don’t Want Trial Televised 

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.  

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