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Derek Chauvin Pleads Not Guilty to Indictment Alleging He Used Similar Restraint as One Used on George Floyd on Black Teen in 2017

Derek Chauvin pleaded not guilty on Thursday to an indictment alleging he violated a then-14-year-old boy’s civil rights in 2017 when he allegedly used a similar restraint on the boy as the one he used on George Floyd in 2020.

Chauvin was convicted earlier this year of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death and sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison. He is currently being held in Minnesota’s only maximum security prison, Oak Park Heights. 

Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney focuses on growing anger from the crowd as a threat. (Screenshot on day of incident/Chauvin’s mugshot)

Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, sparked worldwide protests last year after video emerged of Chauvin kneeling on the neck of the handcuffed and prone Black man as he cried out for help until losing consciousness. During the jury selection process for Chauvin’s trial, Minneapolis announced a $27 million settlement to Floyd’s family.

A separate two-count indictment alleges that in 2017, Chauvin held down a Black teen by the throat, hit him in the head with a flashlight and held his knee on the boy’s neck and upper back while he was prone, handcuffed and not resisting. Chauvin was responding to a domestic call about the teen assaulting his mother. Body camera footage has not been made public.

Chauvin is accused of using more violent force than he acknowledged in the police report, where he wrote that the 6-foot-2, 240-pound teen resisted arrest and that he “used body weight to pin [him] to the floor.”

The teen was bleeding from the ear and required two stitches.

Chauvin appeared in court virtually on Thursday morning and pleaded not guilty to violating the teen’s right to be free of unreasonable force, The Associated Press and other outlets reported.

Prosecutors say Chauvin has a pattern of using excessive force and that he has used upper body restraints seven times, dating back to 2014, including four times in which state prosecutors said he went too far and held the restraints “beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances.”

Chauvin and other officers involved in Floyd’s death, including Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, appeared in court earlier this week and plead not guilty to federal charged of violating Floyd’s rights. During the incident, Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held Floyd’s legs while Thao held back bystanders and kept them from intervening.

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