Derek Chauvin would have been hit with DOJ charges had he been acquitted of George Floyd's murder: report

Derek Chauvin would have been hit with DOJ charges had he been acquitted of George Floyd's murder: report
Minnesota Department of Corrections

Even if Derek Chauvin had been acquitted of murdering George Floyd or it ended in a mistrial, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had another plan to ensure he faced consequences for his actions, according to a new report.

Federal prosecutors reportedly planned to arrest the former Minneapolis police officer in court and charge him with civil-rights violations.

According to Business Insider, federal prosecutors have spent months developing a police brutality case against Chauvin and the other three Minneapolis officers — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao — in connection with Floyd's death.

The Star Tribune reports that the Justice Department decided to hold off on pursuing a grand jury indictment against the officers "in an effort not to influence the outcome of the murder trial."

Sources familiar with the discussions told the Star Tribune that the original DOJ plan was to arrest Chauvin in the courthouse if he was acquitted or if a mistrial was called, and charge him with federal police-brutality violations.

Since Chauvin was found guilty on three different charges — second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter — the Justice Department did not pursue the civil rights charges. However, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced last week that the DOJ would be opening an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department to examine its practices.

In addition to that investigation, Chauvin is also at the center of another investigation involving a 14-year-old boy. That incident was discussed in court when prosecutors attempted to show a pattern of disturbing behavior Chauvin has exhibited throughout the course of his career.

Kueng, Lane, and Thao are all set to stand trial together in August.

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