Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s time before a judge may be far from over. Chauvin was convicted last week of the murder of George Floyd. He was found guilty of all three counts he faced. Now the Department of Justice may charge him in connection to a 2017 incident.
Chauvin, who knelt on the neck of George Floyd for more than nine minutes resulting in his death is accused of kneeling on a 14-year-old boy for 17 minutes back in 2017.
According to a new report by ABC News when prosecutors were preparing for the case, they received several videos of the incident with the Black teen and were horrified by what they saw. Unfortunately, the evidence was not allowed at trial because the defense successfully argued that jurors should be barred from hearing about Chauvin’s history of neck and body restraints on suspects.
ABC News reported that “the videos, from Sept. 4, 2017, allegedly showed Chauvin striking a Black teenager in the head so hard that the boy needed stitches, then allegedly holding the boy down with his knee for nearly 17 minutes, and allegedly ignoring complaints from the boy that he couldn’t breathe.”
Mathew Frank one of the state prosecutors wrote in a court filing that “those videos show a far more violent and forceful treatment of this child than Chauvin describes in his report (of the incident.)”
Chauvin was not charged for the incident, However, earlier this year, federal prosecutors in Minneapolis did bring witnesses before a federal grand jury to provide testimony regarding the incident. The DOJ is reportedly still investigating the incident and now deciding whether it will bring charges against Chauvin for the incident.
Reportedly, the incident with the 14-year-old began after the boy’s mother called the police and accused him and his sister of attacking her. Chauvin and another officer were the first to arrive on the scene. The teen refused to follow instructions and that is when all hell broke loose.
Frank told ABC News that “after officers entered the home and spoke to the woman, they ordered the son to lie on the ground, but he refused. Within seconds, Chauvin hit the teenager with his flashlight, grabbed the teenager’s throat, hit him again with the flashlight, and then applied a neck restraint, causing the child to lose consciousness and go to the ground.”
Frank wrote that “Chauvin and [the other officer] placed [the teenager] in the prone position and handcuffed him behind his back while the teenager’s mother pleaded with them not to kill her son and told her son to stop resisting,” Frank wrote, noting that at one point the teenager’s ear began bleeding. “About a minute after going to the ground, the child began repeatedly telling the officers that he could not breathe, and his mother told Chauvin to take his knee off her son.”
Teenager for about eight minutes, Chauvin then moved his knee to the boy’s upper back where it remained for more than nine minutes, according to Frank.
After kneeling on the teen for 17 minutes Chauvin informed him that he was under arrest for domestic assault and obstruction with force The teen was then loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital where he received stitches.
“For Black people, calling the police for any reason often turns into a double-edged sword situation. On one hand, we need protection from crime just like anyone else does; on the other hand, we just have no way of knowing whether or not calling the police will make things worse—and far too often, it does,” wrote The Root journalist Zack Linley.
Linley adds, “Floyd would be alive today if legal officials saw to it that a cop who would beat on a 14-year-old “within seconds” of him refusing to lie on the ground and then kneel on him for the better part of 20 minutes would no longer be policing the streets of Minneapolis.”
It is unclear when the DOJ will make its decision whether to charge Chauvin over the incident.