An Amazing Moment That Thankfully Didn’t Happen

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April 29, 2021 9:19 a.m.

Thank God it didn’t come to that. But if Derek Chauvin had been acquitted in Minneapolis federal officials were planning to arrest him at the court house on federal civil rights charges. The DOJ still plans to bring those charges against Chauvin and the three other officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest and death.

Worth remembering that after the conviction there were reports of early negotiations over a plea. They apparently broke down over the unwillingness of the DOJ – then under Bill Barr – to agree to waive federal civil rights charges as part of a deal. So such charges being in the cards, or at least under consideration, didn’t start with Biden’s inauguration.

Obviously, it would have been a very bad day for the country if Chauvin had been acquitted and likely would have unleashed another wave of protests. One imagines the drama of such an arrest and the promise of a second shot at accountability was meant to disrupt, at some level, that chain of events.

As I said, thank God it wasn’t necessary. But I’m fascinated to imagine how that scenario would have played out.

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