DEREK Chauvin is among four cops who have been charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights in his arrest death.
Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Kueng appeared via videoconference in US District Court in Minneapolis on Friday morning.
The charges against them were not read in open court, but a grand jury was investigating whether they and former officer Derek Chauvin violated Floyd’s civil rights. Chauvin was not part of the court appearance.
Floyd died on May 25 after Chauvin pressed a knee against his neck to hold him on the ground.
Chauvin was convicted last month on state charges of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death and is in Minnesota’s only maximum-security prison as he awaits sentencing.
The second-degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, the third-degree murder charge a maximum of 25 years and the second-degree manslaughter charge a maximum of 10 years.
Chauvin is currently facing a maximum of 75 years behind bars, however, prosecutors previously said they’d be seeking enhanced sentences for all convictions.
Chauvin's bail was immediately revoked and he was taken out of the courtroom in cuffs after the verdict was read out.
His face concealed by a face mask, little reaction could be seen from Chauvin but his eyes darted wildly around the room as he was led away.
The other three former officers face a state trial in August, and they are free on bond.
They were allowed to remain free after Friday’s federal court appearance.
Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground with a knee on his neck, even as Floyd, who was handcuffed, repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.
That neck restraint, prosecutors argued, was the direct cause of Floyd's death and laid out evidence that he died from low levels of oxygen.
Kueng and Lane also helped restrain Floyd — state prosecutors have said Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held down Floyd’s legs.
State prosecutors say Thao held back bystanders and kept them from intervening during the nine-and-a-half-minute restraint.
Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, argued during his murder trial that Chauvin acted reasonably in the situation and that Floyd died because of underlying health issues and drug use.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher showed the jury a picture of some of the injuries sustained by Floyd during the arrest, as he squirmed and struggled under the knee of Chauvin, begging for his life.
One of the pictures shows a bruise and abrasions to the left side of Floyd's face. Others show cuts to his knuckles and a bloody graze on his left shoulder.
He asked the jury to look at the images and ask themselves one question before delivering a verdict against Chauvin: If not for the cop's restraint, would Floyd have died last May?
Schleicher further stressed that within just the first four minutes of the restraint, Floyd had complained he couldn't breathe 27 times.
Nelson has recently filed a request for a new trial, citing many issues including the judge’s refusal to move the trial due to publicity.
The motion, filed on Tuesday, included jury misconduct in its reasoning.
Chauvin's attorney, Eric J. Nelson, requested a new trial on the following grounds: "the interest of justice; abuse of discretion that deprived the Defendant of a fair trial; prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law."
Nelson also claimed that the court abused its discretion for failing to agree to the defense's request for a change of venue and sequestering the jury, documents show.
Floyd’s arrest and death, which a bystander captured on cellphone video, sparked protests nationwide and widespread calls for an end to police brutality and racial inequities.
The filing came on a day that it was reported that one of the jurors in Chauvin's trial attended an anti-police protest last summer.
Brandon Mitchell was one of the 12 jurors who convicted ex-Minneapolis cop Chauvin of second and third-degree murder and manslaughter over the killing of George Floyd.
Social media images have emerged of Mitchell attending an August 28 protest, at which Floyd's relatives spoke, while wearing a t-shirt with the words ‘GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS’ on the front.
The 31-year-old black man is seen standing with two cousins and wearing the T-shirt in question. The photo has recently recirculated online, the Star Tribune reported.
He has acknowledged being at the event, according to Daily Mail reports, but has said he doesn’t recall wearing or owning the shirt.
Mitchell, a high-school basketball coach, has defended his participation in the event.
It was not explicitly a protest against police or a commemoration for George Floyd, he has said.
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