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Four former Minneapolis police officers involved in the lethal arrest of George Floyd plead not guilty to federal charges of violating Floyd's civil rights at an arraignment hearing on Tuesday.
The ex-officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were fired after Floyd's arrest on May 25, 2020.
Chauvin was sentenced in a state court this June to 22.5 years in prison following a jury verdict of guilty in the murder of Floyd, after a bystander's cellphone video showed that Floyd was being held face-down and not resisting the restraint.
The verdict was seen as a landmark repudiation of the disproportionate use of police force against Black Americans.
The video showing Chauvin kneeling on the neck of Floyd for over nine minutes caused outrage worldwide and thegenerated the largest protest movement seen in the United States in decades.
Chauvin was arresting Floyd on suspicion of using a fake $20 bill.
The four former officers charged in George Floyd's killing have officially pleaded not guilty in federal court to allegations they violated Floyd's civil rights. Derek Chauvin is appearing via Zoom from Minnesota's maximum security prison outside of Minneapolis.
All four officers are being federally charged with depriving Floyd of his rights by failing to provide him with due medical attention.
Chauvin also faces federal charges with violating Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer. Thao and Kueng are similarly being charged with violating Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable seizure and not intervening to stop Chauvin from kneeling on Floyd's neck.
Chauvin similarly faces federal charges for violating the civil rights of a 14-year-old boy he arrested in 2017.
The judge at Tuesday's hearing asked for further legal documentation from both sides' attorneys so as to rule on motions by attorneys for Lane, Kueng and Thao, requesting to sever their trials from Chauvin's.