Former officers accused of violating George Floyd's civil rights plead not guilty to federal charges

Federal court house
Photo credit Getty Images

Four former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights entered not guilty pleas Tuesday morning during their arraignment which took place via videoconference.

Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao were indicted by a federal grand jury in May for allegedly depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority on May 25, 2020.

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In the federal indictment, Chauvin allegedly violated Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police office. Thao and Kueng are charged with violating Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable seizure by not intervening to stop Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd's neck.

All four former officers are charged with depriving Floyd of his rights when they failed to provide him with medical care.

Motions to separate the trials of Lane, Kueng, and Thao from Chauvin's trial due to potential prejudice and other factors were heard, but not acted on, by the court Tuesday.

Court adjourned shortly after 12 p.m. Tuesday. A decision on whether or not to sever the three ex-officers' trials from Chauvin could come in late October or early November.

Tuesday's arraignment came after Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in April. He was later sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison.

Thao, Lane, and Kueng face state charges of on aiding and abetting. They will go to trial in March.

No trial date for the federal charges has been set.