Derek Chauvin Appears At Federal Hearing

Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, who was convicted in April in the death of George Floyd, appeared in federal court on Tuesday (June 1) to face civil rights violation charges in connection with Floyd’s murder, CBS News reports.

In May he was given federal charges along with the three other officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, all of whom were present May 25, 2020 when Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck in an arrest attempt, resulting in his losing consciousness and ultimately dying as a result.

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He appeared in federal court through videoconferencing from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights. He is currently being held in the prison as he awaits sentencing on the state murder conviction, which is expected June 25.

Chauvin, Kueng, Lane, and Thao are federally accused of depriving Floyd of his civil rights “under color of law,” which means if guilty, they committed the act in their role as officers. The federal indictment says that Chauvin deprived Floyd of his constitutional right to be “free from an unreasonable seizure” when he held him down for more than nine minutes while handcuffed.

In the hearing, Chauvin said that he understood his rights and that he wished to continue to be represented by an attorney, according to CBS News. He was represented by Eric Nelson, who also represented him in his state murder trial. Nelson said that he wouldn’t contest the motion from the federal government to keep Chauvin held in custody prior to his federal trial.

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Chauvin said that he had not spoken with Nelson about the right to contest being detained, but he told the judge: “In light of my current circumstances I believe that would be a moot point.” He then waived his right to a detention hearing.

It is unclear when the four officers would face a federal trial. Kueng, Lane and Thao are scheduled to be tried on charges of aiding and abetting second degree murder next year.

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