Justice Department officials were planning to arrest former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin at the courthouse earlier this month after spending months collecting evidence to indict Chauvin on federal police brutality charges if he had not been found guilty of murdering George Floyd, or if the case ended in mistrial, the Star Tribune reported early Thursday.
Under the contingency arrest plan, the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office would have charged Chauvin by criminal complaint, sources told the Star Tribune.
In the wake of Chauvin’s guilty verdict on all charges during his state trial, federal prosecutors are now moving forward with their case which would involve charges on civil rights violations for Chauvin and the three ex-officers in connection with Floyd’s death, according to the Star Tribune.
Leading up to the trial, federal prosecutors had reportedly ramped up calling witnesses before a grand jury, signaling the federal civil rights charges for Chauvin.
Sources familiar with the secretive proceedings told the Star Tribune back in February, that federal prosecutors were investigating Chauvin’s use of force on Floyd and a 2017 arrest that involved Chauvin pinning a 14-year-old with his knee.
In the lesser known second case, Chauvin struck the teen on the head with a flashlight, then grabbed him by the throat and hit him again, according to court documents reviewed by the Star Tribune that describe body camera footage that has not been publicly released.
The revelation about the federal case, comes as Attorney General Merrick Garland announced after Chauvin’s conviction last week, that the Justice Department would be launching a civil investigation into whether Minneapolis police engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.