President Joe Biden’s Justice Department would have reportedly arrested Derek Chauvin at the courthouse if the jury found him not guilty on all counts.
The StarTribune reported:
Leading up to Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, Justice Department officials had spent months gathering evidence to indict the ex-Minneapolis police officer on federal police brutality charges, but they feared the publicity frenzy could disrupt the state’s case.
So they came up with a contingency plan: If Chauvin were found not guilty on all counts or the case ended in a mistrial, they would arrest him at the courthouse, according to sources familiar with the planning discussions.
The scenario presumably entailed the Minnesota U.S. Attorney General’s Office charging “Chauvin by criminal complaint — a quicker alternative for a federal charge that doesn’t require a grand jury,” the report says.
The scheme was not needed. Chauvin was guilty on all three counts. But federal prosecutors purportedly still plan to indict Chauvin with civil rights violations.
The news comes after Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Sunday there is no evidence George Floyd was a victim of a “hate crime” or racial bias from Chauvin.
“I wouldn’t call it that because hate crimes are crimes where there’s an explicit motive and of bias,” Ellison stated. “We don’t have any evidence that Derek Chauvin factored in George Floyd’s race as he did what he did.”
“I will admit, I felt a little bad for the defendant. I think he deserved to be convicted. But he’s a human being,” Ellison continued.
“I’m not in any way wavering from my responsibility,” Ellison stated. “But I hope we never forget that people who are defendants in our criminal justice system, that they’re human beings. They’re people.”
The other three officers at the scene of George Floyd’s arrest, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, will reportedly also be indicted by a grand jury to be tried in federal court for civil rights violations.