The four American police officers who killed unarmed African American George Floyd have pleaded not guilty in a US federal court to charges of violating his civil rights.
The former Minneapolis officers, Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, were arraigned before US District Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung on Tuesday.
According to the indictment, "the defendants saw George Floyd lying on the ground in clear need of medical care, and willfully failed to aid Floyd, thereby acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm to Floyd."
The four were charged in May for depriving the Black man of his rights while acting under government authority on May 25, 2020.
A separate count against Chauvin alleged that he violated Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and force by a police officer.
The federal government is, meanwhile, investigating policing practices in Minneapolis, which has become notorious for police brutality along with several other US states.
A day after Chauvin was convicted in the killing of George Floyd, the Justice Department opened a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis.
The 46-year-old African American was arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner market.
Murder of George Floyd made him a household name overnight. With Eric Chauvin kneeling on his neck and ignoring the bystanders, incremental shortage of breath led to an incredible tragedy that impacted the course of the Black movement in America.
Floyd’s murder on May 25 led to national outrage about the deaths of unarmed Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement, triggering nationwide and worldwide protests.