George Floyd, Derek Chauvin And Derek Chauvin discussed on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell


New tonight democrats and republicans have reached. Something that's rare in washington. These days common ground three weeks after derek chauvin found guilty in the murder of george floyd. The wall street journal reports tonight democratic and republican staff in congress are drafting language for possible police overhaul legislation that would limit the transfer of some military equipment to local departments ban. Police use of chokeholds except in life threatening situations and set federal standards for so called. No knock warrants now. This news is a good sign of bipartisan momentum for something supported by sixty percent of americans according to a recent washington post poll still unresolved are the issues of individual liability protection for police officers and whether the standard to federally charge. Officers should be changed. What is clear is that threshold to federally charged. Police was met for the four possible for former police. Officers involved in the merger murder of george floyd a federal grand jury has indicted those four former minneapolis police officers on civil rights charges today. According to an indictment unsealed this morning. Derek chauvin jay alexander king thomas lane and to tau were acting under control under color of law willfully deprive george floyd of his constitutional rights. All four former officers are charged with deliberate indifference to george floyd serious medical needs former officers. Jay alexander king and two tower charged with violating george. Floyds right to quote. Be free from an unreasonable seizure. End quote derek. Chauvin is also charged with violating. George floyd right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer. According to the minneapolis star tribune federal prosecutors have long felt. They've got enough evidence to indict the officers on civil rights violations but charges were delayed so they wouldn't disrupt derek chauvin state trial jay alexander king thomas lane and to tau all made an initial court appearance this morning via zoom. They're not currently in custody in. They're scheduled to be tried together on state charges in august. Derek chauvin by the way is currently in minneapolis. Prison minnesota prison awaiting sentencing after a jury found him guilty on all three state charges for his role in the murder of george floyd a second an entirely separate federal indictment was unsealed today against derek chauvin in a different case charging him with violating the civil rights of a fourteen year old during a thousand seventeen arrest involving use of force and a neck restraint. The civil rights charges facing all four former officers are brand new charges today. Meaning all four could face another trial this time in federal court. Prosecuting police officers for federal civil rights is incredibly rare in this country before the charges filed today star tribune reports only three cases in minnesota have been charged in the last decade. Now the question is whether the case involving the murder of george floyd is or is it the beginning of holding bad cops accountable for their actions. The day after george floyd was murdered. Joe biden tweeted quote. George floyd deserve better and his family deserves justice. His life mattered. I'm grateful for the swift action in minneapolis to fire the officers involved. They must be held responsible for their actions. The fbi should conduct a thorough investigation. Here's white house press secretary. Jen psaki today on the new charges. It's a reminder as was the verdict in the chauvin case just a few weeks ago that there's still more that needs to be done. Well that was a of justice certainly that it is just the beginning and reminder of the needs to put police reform in place through our legislative process and put those reforms in place across the country. There still more that needs to be done. The house passed the george. Floyd justice in policing act in march and a bipartisan. Group of senators are currently working on their version of a police reform. Bill but the biden administration is not waiting for congress to take action after four years of a corrupt justice department under trump's attorney general's attorney general jeff sessions and bill barr the biden. Justice department is showing us. What can be done to protect the rights civil and otherwise of all americans under the leadership of attorney. General merrick garland the justice department has launched investigations. Do both the minneapolis and lou of police departments to determine whether they engage in patterns or practices of unlawful behavior. Last week separately. The department announced federal hate crime charges against three men accused of murdering arbery in georgia. They're state trial will begin in october. In march amid the rise in hate crimes against asian-americans the justice department announced an expedited review to determine how it can better track and prosecute crimes involving race and as republicans across the country are doing everything they can to make it as difficult as possible to cast a ballot. The department of justice has questioned the gop driven private recount of ballots in arizona's most populous county over fears that it could spark voter intimidation in future elections. This is what happens. When honest people are in charge. Bad people are held accountable and those who need protection are offered protection. The biden justice department has taken incredibly important steps to correct the trump legacy but there is still more to be done. There will always be more to be done. Here's michelle obama this morning on. Cbs we don't want to be out there margin. I mean all those black lives matters kids. They'd rather not have to worry about this. They're taking to the streets because they have to. They're trying to have people understand that that we're real folks in the fear that many have of so many of is irrational and it's based on a history that is just it's sad and it's dark and it's time for us to move beyond that leading off our discussion. Tonight are gloria browne marshall a civil rights attorney and constitutional law professor at john jay college of criminal justice and glenn kirschner and former federal prosecutor and an msnbc legal analyst. Good evening to both of you. Gloria let me start with you. I want to read to you. An article that was published in the new york times which reads as follows. Federal prosecutors have hesitated to bring the civil rights charge in high profile police killings because it is hard to meet the laws wilfulness standard which would mean proving that an officer intended to use excessive force in order to violate someone's civil rights. The split second nature many police shootings including those at the center of several of those cases. Make them particularly difficult to prosecute your thoughts on the decision to charge the four police officers in minneapolis. Well i think the the word here is hesitant to bring these charges. Why don't we think the courts decide. Let a grand jury determined whether or not there's enough evidence to indict them even if the standard is highs both this under the beyond a reasonable doubt. I think is excellent that these federal charges have been brought and that the prosecutions of police officers in state court is so willfully negligent on on the part of these these prosecutors to ignore the duties that the federal government has been forced to step in this. Federal legislation was put in post slavery. This is civil rights legislation po slavery that we're talking about because it was understood then. The states were not going to protect the rights of african american. This been tweaked. Over years with different about presidents coming in and joe biden for one is going to be a part of this national legislation but there is so much more that needs to be done laden. How much of. This is a shot across the bow. Or as cynthia said the department of justice rising from the ashes and and sort of letting states police and everybody else in this country and know that they're back on the scene. Yeah alley There are only three counts in this indictment and it only runs about three pages. It's very short but boy does it speak volumes about the fact that i think it's fair to say there's a new civil rights sheriff in town and his name is merrick garland when you look at the three charges the first one is i would say predictable charges derek shaaban with using unreasonable force to end the life of george floyd and we all enjoy a constitutional protection against the police using unreasonable force. That is a seizure.

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