MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly moving forward with plans to indict former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and the three other former officers charged in George Floyd’s death on federal civil rights charges, sources told FOX 9.
It has apparently been in the works for months. There was even a plan to arrest Chauvin if the Hennepin County jury found him not guilty.
On April 20, the world watched as Judge Peter Cahill read the jury’s verdict in the courtroom, which found him guilty of all three charges—second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter—in Floyd’s death last Memorial Day.
What the cameras did not capture were federal agents inside the Hennepin County Government Center at the very moment the verdict was read, prepared to arrest Chauvin if the jury failed to convict.
In the end, Chauvin was sent to a solitary confinement unit inside Minnesota’s maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights, where he is awaiting sentencing.
But given the presence of federal authorities who were not going to allow Chauvin to leave the courthouse complex a free man and intelligence from additional FOX 9 sources, it appears Chauvin’s legal troubles may soon multiply.
Prosecutors at Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota are reportedly readying indictments against Chauvin and potentially his three co-defendants—former officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane—for violating Floyd’s civil rights during his deadly arrest.
From left to right: Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng.
One legal analyst predicts the charges would put enormous pressure on Thao, Kueng and Lane before their own criminal trial is set to begin in August. All three are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
"It depends on what they charge them with," said Michael Bryant, a local criminal defense attorney. "It’s a civil rights violation, and so if they convict him of that and they’re found guilty of it, there’s a lot more they can do on the federal level."