On Tuesday (September 14), four former Minneapolis police officers made their first appearance in federal court and pleaded not guilty to abuse of power charges in the death of George Floyd.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the charges allege Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao used the "color of the law" to deprive Floyd of his constitutional rights to be "free from the use of unreasonable force" while Chauvin had Floyd pinned under his knee for over nine minutes. The three other former officers did not intervene to stop him.
The federal civil case is separate from the state’s case against the same officers.
The Star-Tribune reports that the federal charges state that the offense “resulted in bodily injury to, and the death of George Floyd."
The four former officers appeared virtually for the hearing in U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung’s courtroom.
Derek Chauvin, who for more than nine minutes held his knee to George Floyd’s neck, was convicted on all counts of murder and manslaughter. He was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison.
Lane, Kueng, and Thao’s state trial is set to begin in March 2022.
(Photos from left: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota Department of Corrections via Getty Images)