Chauvin Addresses Alleged Chokehold on Black Teen

Former cop pleads not guilty to civil rights violation involving 14-year-old
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 16, 2021 1:23 PM CDT
Chauvin Addresses Alleged Chokehold on Black Teen
In this April 15, 2021, file image from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, and defendant, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, address Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis.   (Court TV via AP, Pool File)

The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd pleaded not guilty Thursday to allegedly violating the civil rights of a teenager in a separate case that involved a restraint similar to the one used on Floyd. Derek Chauvin, who is charged in federal court with violating Floyd's civil rights when he knelt on the Black man's neck for about 9.5 minutes as Floyd was facedown on the pavement, is also accused of carrying out a similar act against a then-14-year-old boy in 2017, per the AP.

An indictment alleges Chauvin deprived the Black teenager of his right to be free of unreasonable force when he held the teen by the throat, hit him in the head with a flashlight, and held his knee on the boy’s neck and upper back while he was prone, handcuffed, and not resisting. Chauvin allegedly held that position for 17 minutes. According to a police report, Chauvin wrote that the teen, whom he described as 6-2 and about 240 pounds, did, in fact, resist. After handcuffing the teen, Chauvin said he "used body weight to pin" him to the floor. The boy was left bleeding from the ear and needed two stitches.

The teen also reportedly passed out temporarily from the neck restraint. That encounter was one of several mentioned in state court filings that prosecutors said showed Chauvin had used neck or head and upper body restraints seven times prior to Floyd's death dating back to 2014, including four times state prosecutors said he went too far and held the restraints "beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances." Thursday's hearing was held via videoconference, and Chauvin appeared from the state's maximum security prison, where he's being held following his murder conviction. (More Derek Chauvin stories.)

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