The Justice Department officials plan to ask a grand jury to indict Derek Chauvin and the three other former officers involved in George Floyd’s death on charges of civil rights violations.
The news comes along with word the feds planned to arrest Chauvin at the courthouse if he was found not guilty on all charges at his state trial last week, The Star Tribune reported.
There was no need for the courthouse theatrics, reportedly aimed at quelling violent protests, as Chauvin was convicted of all three murder and manslaughter counts, and faces 40 years in prison for the deadly arrest.
With Chauvin’s state trial over, the feds are seeking to charge the convicted killer and former Minneapolis cops J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao with new civil rights charges on top of the state’s cases, according to the newspaper.
Chauvin’s cohorts already face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter.
Federal authorities have been mounting their own high-profile police brutality case against the former cops for the better part of a year, the report said.
The DOJ has also been mulling additional charges against Chauvin in connection with a 2017 incident where he allegedly used his knee to restrain a teenager for nearly 17 minutes.
That illegal maneuver proved deadly against Floyd, a black man who was taken into custody for suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. Footage of Chauvin’s nine minute knee restraint led to the rare police murder conviction.
The news on the expected federal charges comes a week after Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a sweeping investigation into the policing practices of the Minneapolis Police Department.
The feds are reviewing whether the department uses excessive force, engages in discriminatory practices, and handles misconduct allegations appropriately.