May 7 2021 A U.S. federal grand jury indicted Drake Shawan, a former white police officer who killed African-American man George Floyd, and three other former police officers involved in the case, accusing them of deliberately depriving Floyd of his constitutional civil rights and causing his death “in the name of the law.”
According to the indictment released the same day by the U.S. Department of Justice, Shawan was charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unjustified police custody and unreasonable use of force. Two of the other three former police officers involved were charged with violating Floyd’s right to be held without charge by the police. All four were indicted for failing to provide medical assistance to Floyd.
The U.S. Department of Justice also released a separate indictment allege that Shawan violated the civil rights of a 14-year-old on September 4, 2017, by violently enforcing the law and causing bodily harm while the teenager was handcuffed to the ground without resistance.
On May 25, 2020, Floyd, 46, died after being crushed in the neck by Shawan on the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota. After live video was uploaded online, there was a long, massive wave of anti-police violence and protests against racial discrimination across the United States. Drake Shawan and three other police officers present were subsequently dismissed and charged. On April 20, the case was decided in Minneapolis, and a jury found Shawan guilty of all three counts of murder and manslaughter.
Federal charges of civil rights violations can be convicted of up to life in prison or even the death penalty, but such harsh sentences are extremely rare, U.S. media reported, citing legal experts. If convicted of second-degree murder in federal court, Drake Shawan could face more than 14 years in prison.