In a classic overreach case of “me-tooism” a federal prosecutor was told to go after the four former Minneapolis police officers who were involved in George Floyd’s arrest that ultimately ended up with Floyd dying while in police custody.
A federal grand jury has indicted all four of the officers involved, accusing them of willfully violating Floyd’s Constitutional rights as he was restrained face-down on the pavement.
Chauvin has been charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free of unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer.
Thao and Kueng were also charged for violating Floyd’s right to be free from an unreasonable seizure, and alleging they didn’t intervene to stop Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd’s neck. Even though the other officers at the scene had their own specific assignments that did not allow them to intervene in Chauvin’s assignment, according to police policy and their training, the federal grand jury indicted with the message “Please don’t hurt us.”
All four officers were charged for failing to provide Floyd with any medical care.
The grand jury also indicted Chauvin over an arrest and neck restraint of a 14-year-old teenage boy in 2017.
On Friday, Lane, Thao, and Kueng made their court appearances by way of videoconference in US District Court in Minneapolis. Chauvin wasn’t involved at that point.
Floyd, 46, died after Chauvin had him to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed and repeatedly told the officers he couldn’t breathe.
Kueng and Lane helped to restrain Floyd. State prosecutors said Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back while Lane held down Floyd’s legs. State prosecutors said Thao’s assignment was crowd control to keep bystanders from interfering with officers during the arrest.
Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, argued during the trial that his client acted reasonably during the arrest of Floyd and that Floyd died because of other underlying conditions like heart trouble and drug abuse. Nelson filed a motion for a new trial over numerous issues like the judge not sequestering the jury at the beginning, his refusal to a change of venue request, and the tainting of the jury when Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) sent dog whistles to the jurors that Minneapolis rioters would get confrontational if the verdict didn’t go her way, which was “guilty, guilty, guilty.”
Technically, in order to bring federal charges against police that involved a death, prosecutors normally have to believe that an officer acted what is referred to as under the “color of law” or government authority, and willfully deprived someone of their constitutional rights, and in this case Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizures or the use of unreasonable force. It’s a very high legal standard for a prosecutor to meet. Bad judgment on the job, negligence, or an accident won’t be enough to support the charges at the federal level. However, for this case, I believe the prosecutor can spend several days showing film clips of The Three Stooges to the courtroom and the jury will come back with guilty verdicts on all charges.
Persons convicted for federal civil rights violations face up to life in prison or the death penalty. Those two are extremely rare, and the guidelines for federal sentencing are set by complicated formulas that should mean the officers would get much less if they are convicted. But remember that a Three Stooges festival would be great entertainment before the jury votes guilty on all charges and gives the maximum sentence.
If there is no intimidation of the jury like there was in Chauvin’s state trial, he would face anywhere from 14 years to 25 years or slightly more if the federal court deems the second-degree murder conviction as the underlying offense.
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Federal guidelines state that a federal sentence would be served concurrently (that means at the same time as a state sentence for the Soros-funded freaks at MediaMatters). Chauvin will be sentenced for his state convictions on June 25.
Rich is a conservative syndicated opinion writer and owner of Maga-Chat.com. He writes about politics, culture, liberty, and faith.
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