Four former Minneapolis police officers were charged by a federal grand jury Friday for willfully violating George Floyd’s constitutional rights when Derek Chauvin murdered the 46-year-old Black man.

Chauvin is charged with violating Floyd’s constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force. Former officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, who did not intervene when Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, are also charged with unreasonable seizure. Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and another former officer, Thomas Lane, are charged with failing to provide Floyd medical care.

Lane and Kueng helped restrain Floyd, and prosecutors say that Thao held back bystanders while Chauvin was killing Floyd.

Chauvin was found guilty of murdering Floyd last month and is in prison awaiting his sentence. The other officers are free on bond and will face trial in August.

Though advocates held up Chauvin’s conviction as a small step toward accountability, many have noted that convictions and charges are not equivalent to justice.

As organizer and abolitionist Mariame Kaba wrote in We Do This ‘Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice, “[I]ndictments won’t and can’t end oppressive policing which is rooted in anti-blackness, social control and containment. Policing is derivative of a broader social justice. It’s impossible for non-oppressive policing to exist in a fundamentally oppressive and unjust society.”

This story is breaking and will be updated.


Leave a Reply