Derek Chauvin pleads not guilty to 2017 civil rights charges

Derek Chauvin pleads not guilty to 2017 civil rights charges

Former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted of murdering George Floyd after kneeling on his back for nearly ten minutes in 2020, pleaded not guilty to federal charges of violating a teenager’s civil rights when he put a 14-year-old boy in a similar restraint in 2017.

Chauvin, currently serving 22 and a half years for Floyd’s murder, allegedly hit the teenager in the head with his flashlight, choked him and held his knees against the back of the boy’s neck for 17 minutes, at one point causing the teen to lose consciousness, police body camera footage shows, according to court documents.

The complaint alleges that body-camera video evidence is far more violent than the official report submitted by Chauvin after the incident. The state contests there are 18 of these incidents.

“The body worn camera videos provide a contemporaneous account of Chauvin’s conduct during,” the complaint said.

According to the complaint, police responded to a domestic assault call, during which the mother told Chauvin and another officer she wanted her sons removed from the house on charges of domestic assault.

After speaking with the mother, the officers approached the 6’2”, 240-pound teenager and told him that he was under arrest, to which he replied was not under arrest and that his mother was drunk. He refused to get on his stomach as the officers requested

Courtroom art.
The complaint alleges that body-camera video evidence is far more violent than the official report submitted by Derek Chauvin after the 2017 incident.
Cedric Hohnstadt Illustration via REUTERS

Just eight seconds after first grabbing the boy to get him to comply, Chauvin hit him with his flashlight. He asked the other officer to use a taser, but he didn’t have one. Chauvin instead opted for a neck restraint.

“Chauvin applied a neck restraint, causing the child to lose consciousness and go to the ground,” where he was handcuffed “while the child’s mother pleaded with them not to kill her son and told her son to stop resisting,” court documents said.

The boy’s ear was also bleeding and required stitches from the flashlight whack. 

Derek Chauvin.
Derek Chauvin is currently serving 22 and a half years for George Floyd’s May 25, 2020 murder.
Facebook/Darnella Frazier/AFP via Getty Images

Body-cam footage allegedly shows the teenager repeatedly telling Chauvin, whose neck remained on his neck and upper back despite being handcuffed, that he “could not breathe.” The boy’s mother began to plead with Chauvin to stop, asking him five times to remove his knee.

When a paramedic arrived 15 minutes after the boy was first restrained, he told them that the officers had hit him with a flashlight and he “blacked out for a minute.”

Two minutes later and a full 17 minutes after he was restrained, Chauvin gets up and tells the teenager that he’s under arrest for obstruction of force and domestic assault.

The child asked what obstruction with force is, and Chauvin said “because you were told you were under arrest and then this whole show in here. You don’t get to do that,” court documents said.

Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers were arraigned in federal court Tuesday on charges of violating George Floyd’s civil rights.

Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were indicted in May and charged with failure to provide Floyd, 46, with medical care as Chauvin choked him to death by pinning him to the ground with his knee for about nine minutes.

The four ex-cops appeared by videoconference at their arraignment and entered not guilty pleas.

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