The US Department of Justice has revved up its investigation into the death of George Floyd. The department enlisted a new grand jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota and called new witnesses in its probe into former officer Derek Chauvin who is slated to stand trial in March.
“George Floyd’s death spurred a renewed and re-energized civil rights movement,” attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family, said in a statement. “It’s appropriate and gratifying that the Department of Justice under President Biden is taking racial justice seriously.”
In a video that has circulated social media globally, Chauvin is seen putting his knee into Floyd’s back and neck for over nine minutes, despite his calls stating that he couldn’t breathe. George Floyd’s death launched global protests and outcry against police brutality and violence.
In the wake of Floyd’s killing last year, the DOJ began their investigation, but it slowed overtime. Though the federal probe has gained more traction, the report states it’s unlikely the goal of the investigation is for a speedy indictment of Chauvin.
If Chauvin were to be acquitted or if there was a mistrial, this federal investigation would get immediate attention, the report states. The investigation is determining what constitutional rights, like those found in the Fourth Amendment, might have been violated during the incident. If the investigation finds that Floyd’s rights were violated, Chauvin could face trial in a federal case.
City officials have already activated the National Guard in preparation for the court proceedings scheduled to start on March 8.
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