MINNEAPOLIS (NewsNation Now) — Americans on Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the death of George Floyd, which catalyzed the largest U.S. protest movement in decades over police brutality against Black people.
Four police officers arrested the 46-year-old Black man after he was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a Minneapolis corner grocery store. Floyd died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee of Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes while he was handcuffed and pleading that he couldn’t breathe.
A jury convicted Chauvin on all charges related to Floyd’s death including second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
However, the aftermath of Floyd’s murder is far from over. Ongoing investigations and trials, including one for the three other officers involved in Floyd’s death, are set for next year.
Here is a look at the investigations, trials and notable dates ahead:
JUNE 25: CHAUVIN TO BE SENTENCED
Chauvin will be sentenced on June 25 at 1:30 p.m., by Peter Cahill, the Hennepin County judge who oversaw the trial, according to online court records.
Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in April: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Even though he was found guilty of three counts, under Minnesota statutes, he’ll only be sentenced on the most serious one — second-degree murder. While that count carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, experts say he won’t get that much. They say that for all practical purposes, the maximum he would face is 30 years, and he could get less.
July 14: Federal arraignment in July for 3 ex-cops in Floyd’s death
Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao are expected to be arraigned on civil rights violations on July 14 in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.
MARCH 2022: 3 EX-COPS TRIAL POSTPONED
The trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged with aiding and abetting in Floyd’s death was pushed back until May 2022.
Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao were previously scheduled to face trial Aug. 23.
Judge Peter Cahill said he changed the date so the federal case can go forward first. He also said he felt the need to put some distance between the three officers’ trial and Chauvin’s due to all the publicity around the case. Their trial is expected to be broadcast.
FEDERAL CHARGES ON VIOLATING FLOYD’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
A federal grand jury indicted Chauvin, Lane, Keung and Thao in May, accusing them of violating Floyd’s rights as he was restrained face-down on the pavement and gasping for air, according to unsealed indictments.
Specifically, Chauvin is charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer. Thao and Kueng are also charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure, alleging they did not intervene to stop Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd’s neck. All four officers are charged for their failure to provide Floyd with medical care.
Conviction on a federal civil rights charge is punishable by up to life in prison or even the death penalty, but those stiff sentences are extremely rare and federal sentencing guidelines rely on complicated formulas that indicate the officers would get much less if convicted. A trial date has not been released but is expected after other trials.
justice department probe of minneapolis pd
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced in April that the Justice Department launched a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis after the guilty verdict in Floyd’s death.
The probe “will assess whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests,” Garland said.
The investigation is known as a “pattern or practice” and will be a more sweeping probe of the entire department. It may result in major changes to policing there, an official told the Associated Press.
The examination will look at practices used by police and whether the department engages in discriminatory practices. It will examine the department’s handling of misconduct allegations, among other things, according to AP’s source. It’s unclear how far back that will go.
CHAUVIN FILES MOTION FOR A NEW TRIAL
Chauvin’s defense lawyer, Eric Nelson, filed a motion asking for a new trial at the beginning of May. Nelson’s motion argues a new trial is valid for 10 different reasons, including prosecutorial and jury misconduct, as well as denying a change of venue.
Chauvin’s legal team argues in the court documents filed that the jury should have been sequestered for the duration of the trial and told to “avoid all media which resulted in jury exposure to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings.”
They also argue that the court failing to order Morries Hall, a friend of Floyd’s, to testify violated Chauvin’s rights under the Confrontation Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Hall used his Fifth Amendment rights to refuse self-incrimination from his testimony. Chauvin’s defense team had subpoenaed him to testify that Floyd took opioid pills before the arrest and appeared to fall into a deep sleep at some point.
It is unknown if the motion will be granted and how it will move forward at this time.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.