Derek Chauvin Could Face Additional Charges for 2017 Incident Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks about a jurys verdict in the case against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, at the Department of Justice on April 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Andrew Harnik /POOL/AFP via Getty)
By Nick Koutsobinas | Saturday, 24 April 2021 12:20 PM
The Department of Justice is exploring whether to file additional charges against former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin for a 2017 incident where he allegedly beat a Black teenager so badly he needed stitches, reports ABC News.
Chauvin, who was seen on video pressing his knee to Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes, on Tuesday was found guilty of all counts he was charged with, including second-degree murder.
Bodycam video of the incident shows Chauvin striking the 14-year-old’s head with a flashlight after he wouldn’t comply with officers. Chauvin then allegedly held the boy’s throat and "applied a neck restraint, causing the child to lose consciousness and go to the ground," Matthew Frank, one of the state prosecutors, wrote in court papers.
"Those videos show a far more violent and forceful treatment of this child than Chauvin describes in his report [of the incident]," Frank wrote.
Minnesota prosecutors wanted to describe the incident to the jury to show a pattern in Chauvin's conduct, but the judge presiding over the case refused to let them bring it up.
The DOJ is still investigating.
"We will assist the DOJ with anything that they need, and the chief has pledged full cooperation with any investigating agency," Minnesota Police Department spokesman John Elder said Saturday.
According to Frank, Chauvin was dispatched to a call over a mother who claimed her 14-year-old boy and daughter were attacking her. Upon entry into the home, officers told the boy to lie down, but he refused. Chauvin then hit the teenager over the head with a flashlight and pinned him to the ground; he then applied the neck restraint.
"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…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," Frank wrote.
"As was true with the conduct with George Floyd, Chauvin rapidly escalated his use of force for a relatively minor offense…Just like with Floyd, Chauvin used an unreasonable amount of force without regard for the need for that level of force or the victim's well-being. Just like with Floyd, when the child was slow to comply with Chauvin and [the other officer's] instructions, Chauvin grabbed the child by the throat, forced him to the ground in the prone position, and placed his knee on the child's neck with so much force that the child began to cry out in pain and tell Chauvin he could not breathe."
Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson denied the comparison, stating, "[T]here is no marked similarity between [the 2017 incident] and the George Floyd incident."
On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department would be launching a civil investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.