Derek Chauvin is in trouble again. This time, it is not state charges he faces, but federal. He is accused of violating the civil rights of a minor in addition to those of George Floyd who died under Chauvin’s knee of a fentanyl overdose.
But another indictment against Chauvin alleges he carried out a similar act against a then-14-year-old boy in 2017. This indictment alleges Chauvin deprived the teenager, who is Black, 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.
According to a police report from that 2017 encounter, Chauvin wrote that the teen resisted arrest and after the teen, whom he described as 6-foot-2 and about 240 pounds, was handcuffed, Chauvin “used bodyweight to pin” him to the floor. The boy was bleeding from the ear and needed two stitches.
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.”
On Thursday, Chauvin pleaded not guilty to the charges of violating anyone’s civil rights, but that does not mean that he is not going to be crucified in the media for the crime in their collective minds of arresting black men regardless of what they were doing at the time of the incidents.
In these cases, the media never asks why only the color of skin and the actions taken to stop the perps.
This needs to change.
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