World Police charged again, this time at the federal level

Police charged again, this time at the federal level

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648x415 policiers derek chauvin alex kueng immobilisant george floyd 25 mai 2020 images bodycam agent thomas lane

Police officers Derek Chauvin and Alex Kueng immobilizing George Floyd on May 25, 2020 (bodycam footage of Constable Thomas Lane). – Police

In the United States, one cannot be retried for the same crime (rule of double jeopardy), but a person can be tried twice in parallel: at the local (state) and federal levels. This is what the police officers involved in the death of George Floyd might expect: While Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder by the Minnesota court and his three colleagues await trial, the four men have been charged by the US federal state, Friday, for “violation of constitutional rights” of George Floyd.

On April 20, white policeman Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of the black forty-something after a trial organized by the state of Minnesota, in the northern United States. His sentence will be pronounced on June 25. His three former colleagues are to be tried for complicity in murder in August in the same context. They now also risk a federal trial and, potentially, a new sentence. These “double” prosecutions are authorized in the United States but relatively rare, and reflect the importance of this file, at the heart of giant demonstrations against racism and police violence this summer.

Violent arrest of a teenager by Chauvin

On May 25, in Minneapolis, the four men had wanted to arrest George Floyd suspected of having passed a false 20 dollar bill. To subdue him, they pinned him to the ground and Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly ten minutes, even after he passed out and his pulse became undetectable.

According to the federal indictment revealed Friday, Derek Chauvin is accused of using “unreasonable force for a police officer”, which resulted in the injuries and death of George Floyd. His former colleagues Tou Thao and Alexander Kueng are criticized for not having intervened to prevent him from doing so.

The three men, as well as their last colleague Thomas Lane, are also accused of not having brought the necessary assistance to the forty-something despite his pleas and those of distraught passers-by.

In a separate indictment, Derek Chauvin is indicted for the violent arrest of a 14-year-old teenager in 2017. “Without legal justification, he took the teenager by the throat and hit him repeatedly with the head with a torch “, then” he maintained his knee on the neck and the upper back of the teenager lying face down, handcuffed and offering no resistance “, according to the Ministry of Justice.

This precedent, as well as other violent arrests, had been cited by local prosecutors who saw it as proof of a “modus operandi”. But they did not have the right to present them at trial.

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