(NEW YORK) — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is expected to plead guilty on federal civil rights charges in the death of George Floyd on Wednesday, Dec. 15, according to a court filing added to the case docket Monday. He had previously pleaded not guilty.
Former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao were also charged, and the three of them have pleaded not guilty.
A grand jury indicted the four of them for depriving Floyd of his constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force when they saw him lying on the ground “in clear need” of medical care but “willfully failed to aid Floyd, thereby acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm.”
They were attempting to place him under arrest on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a convenience store.
During the encounter, Chauvin held his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes. Floyd, who was handcuffed and in a prone position on the pavement, repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe, before falling unconscious and losing a pulse, according to evidence presented at Chauvin’s state trial. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Video footage — from police body cameras, security cameras and civilian witnesses — played at the trial, showed Kueng and Lane helping Chauvin hold Floyd down, and Thao keeping away witnesses who were expressing concerns for Floyd.
In April, Chauvin, 45, was found guilty on three counts in Floyd’s death — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes.
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