George Floyd: Derek Chauvin, other officers plead not guilty to federal charges murder case

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A sketch from the trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin.
A sketch from the trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin.
Jane Rosenberg
  • The accused in the George Floyd murder case have pleaded not guilty to federal charges. 
  • Four accused appeared in court on Tuesday.
  • Derek Chauvin was in June sentenced to 22 years.

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis policeman convicted of murdering George Floyd, and three other police officers pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal civil rights charges stemming from the death of the 46-year-old.

Chauvin was sentenced in June to 22 and a half years in prison for Floyd's May 2020 death, which sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality across the United States.

Chauvin and three other police officers who were on the scene during Floyd's fatal arrest - Tou Thao, Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane - were charged with violating his constitutional rights and failing to respond to his medical needs.

READ | George Floyd family paid $27 million in settlement

Thao and Kueng were also charged with failing to intervene to stop Chauvin's use of unreasonable force against Floyd.

George Floyd's murderer Derek Chauvin
Derek Chauvin.

All four pleaded not guilty to the federal charges on Tuesday. Chauvin entered his plea from the maximum security prison where he is currently serving his sentence.

While Chauvin, 45, has already been convicted of the state charges, the other three police officers still face Minnesota charges for their role in Floyd's death.

READ | Ex-cop Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22 years for George Floyd murder

They are to go on trial next March on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin, who is white, was captured on video kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes, until he fell unconscious and died.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Philonise Floyd (C), brot
Philonise Floyd (centre), brother of George Floyd, delivers remarks during a meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on the first anniversary of his death.

Keung and Lane helped to restrain the handcuffed Floyd while Thao kept away bystanders who were pleading with the officers to get off of Floyd as he complained he was unable to breathe.

A jury took less than 10 hours to convict Chauvin in April at the end of a high-profile trial. The verdict was greeted with relief by many Americans amid fears an acquittal could trigger further unrest.

The Floyd family's lawyer called the sentencing a "historic" step towards racial reconciliation in the United States.

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