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Four ex-police officers in US indicted in Floyd's murder

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
People hold signs during a ‘Justice for George Floyd’ march in Saint Paul, Minnesota, March 19, 2021. (File photo by AFP)

A US federal grand jury has indicted the four former police officers involved in the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020 over the violation of the unarmed African American’s constitutional rights.

The multicount indictment was issued by the US District Court for the District of Minnesota on Friday and accused Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J Kueng and Tou Thao of violating Floyd’s constitutional rights.

The indictment states that the officers had violated the US Code known as the “color of law” statute, which prohibits law enforcement officers willfully depriving “a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

According to the indictment, all the officers, including Chauvin that was convicted on murder and manslaughter charges last month, were charged with failing to administer first aid to Floyd as the white cop kneeled on his neck for several minutes.

Moreover, Chauvin, Kueng and Thao were charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and excessive force.

All four were fired by the Minneapolis police department shortly after Floyd died.

Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of murdering Floyd after kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest in May last year, and failing to give medical care to the 46-year-old Black man, who had pleaded that he could not breathe, after he passed out.

Chauvin was the first white police officer in Minnesota to be convicted of murdering an African American person, receiving up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.

The other three now-ex officers are due to stand trial this August, separately, charged by the state of Minnesota with aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder.

The brutal incident, which was captured on video that went viral, set off months of angry protests across the United States and the world, as people demanded an end to racial injustice and police brutality against African Americans.

Floyd’s death in police custody also sparked an intense debate about systemic racism, police accountability and the criminal justice system in the United States.

Racial discrimination against people of color, according to experts, has a history of nearly 400 years in the US, which has been finally exposed through Floyd’s diabolical murder.

Floyd’s death reignited deep-rooted anger and outrage over police brutality toward Black Americans in the US and gave fresh impetus to the Black Lives Matter movement at the global level.

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