Derek Chauvin Pleads Not Guilty To Violating 14-Year-Old’s Civil Rights

Photo: Getty Images

The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd pleaded not guilty on Thursday (September 16) to a charge related to a 2017 arrest he made of a Black 14-year-old boy. Derek Chauvin allegedly put the teenager in a chokehold and hit him with a flashlight during the arrest. 

In May, a federal grand jury indicted Chauvin on a charge of violating the teen’s constitutional rights when he used similar tactics that killed George Floyd on May 25, 2020, according to The Washington Post

Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for Floyd’s murder and still faces federal civil rights violation charges connected to the case along with the three other officers at the scene who participated in the fatal arrest –– J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao

All four of the officers pleaded not guilty during an arraignment hearing in that federal case on Tuesday (September 14). 

The 2017 Arrest

The 2017 arrest came into light during Chauvin’s state murder trial earlier this year after prosecutors tried to include the incident as one of multiple arrests they argued proved a trend of Chauvin’s excessive use of force on Black people and people who were larger than him. 

According to a police report, Chauvin responded to a call from a mother about a dispute over a phone charger that led to her son and daughter assaulting her.  

Body camera footage of the teen’s arrest showed Chauvin hitting him in the head with the flashlight, and he allegedly “grabbed the child’s throat and hit him again in the head with the flashlight,” causing the boy to cry out in pain. Chauvin used a neck restraint on the teen and he went unconscious before falling to the ground. 

Chauvin then, according to prosecutors, puts his knees into the teen’s neck and back, despite the teen not resisting and being in handcuffs. The boy comes to eventually and tells officers he can’t breathe. Chauvin remains on top of the boy for 17 minutes, ignoring the boy’s mother who begged Chauvin to get off her son. 

When paramedics arrived, Chauvin didn’t get up –– an action he repeated during Floyd’s arrest –– despite blood coming from the teen’s ear, which may have been the result of the blow to the head he suffered from Chauvin. 

The boy was eventually taken to the hospital where he received stitches. No charges were filed in the case at the time. 

A trial date for Chauvin’s federal case has not been set yet.

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