Trump raged that whoever leaked that he hid in the White House bunker during anti-racism protests should be ‘charged with treason’ and ‘executed,’ book says

donald trump
Former President Donald J. Trump.

  • Trump was furious after someone leaked that he hid in the White House bunker during George Floyd protests.
  • He raged that the leaker should be “charged with treason” and “executed,” a new book says.
  • He became “obsessed” with finding out who leaked that information, according to CNN, which obtained an excerpt.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Then-President Donald Trump was furious after the media reported that he and his family hid in the White House bunker during the George Floyd protests last year and said whoever leaked that information should be executed, according to a new book by The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Bender.

In “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost,” Bender wrote that Trump seethed about the bunker story during a meeting with military, law enforcement officials, and West Wing advisors, according to CNN, which obtained an excerpt of the book.

The meeting happened in the days after he hid in the bunker, Bender wrote, and the president “boiled over about the bunker story as soon as they arrived and shouted at them to smoke out whoever had leaked it.”

“It was the most upset some aides had ever seen the president,” the book continued, according to CNN. “‘Whoever did that, they should be charged with treason!’ Trump yelled. ‘They should be executed!'”

Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, reportedly tried to calm the president down while other aides avoided making eye contact with him, the book said. In the following days, Trump became “obsessed” with discovering who leaked the story, and those who had witnessed his reaction saw it as the sign of “a president in panic,” according to the excerpt.

Trump later tried to downplay the bunker visit in an interview with Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, saying he was there to inspect it, not to hide.

“I was there for a tiny, short little period of time,” Trump said. “They said it would be a good time to go down and take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it.”

The president added that he’d visited the bunker “two and a half times” before for various “things” related to inspections.

Trump’s reaction to the bunker visit leaking to the press was one of several times he said his perceived opponents should be executed.

In 2019, he refused to deny that senior FBI officials who investigated his campaign’s ties to Russia during the 2016 election should be put to death.

“Sir, the constitution says treason is punishable by death. You’ve accused your adversaries of treason. Who specifically are you accusing of treason?” NBC’s Peter Alexander asked Trump at a White House event in May 2019.

“Well, I think a number of people” in the bureau “have unsuccessfully tried to take down the wrong person,” Trump replied, before pointing the finger at former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

In September of that year, Trump said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff should be arrested for treason. At the time, Schiff was spearheading an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s efforts to strongarm the Ukrainian government into launching bogus investigations targeting the Bidens, while withholding military aid and a White House meeting.

“Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people,” Trump tweeted on September 30. “It bore NO relationship to what I said on the call. Arrest for Treason?”

A few days earlier, Trump had also suggested that the whistleblower who used legal avenues to alert Schiff’s committee to his Ukraine efforts was a “spy” and had committed treason.

“I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy,” he said at a private breakfast in New York.

Trump added: “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”

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A day after Derek Chauvin’s sentencing, lawmakers in Minnesota reached an agreement on policing measures and will create a warning system to keep bad cops off the street

A small group of protesters who had closed the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street in Uptown clashed with officers on bike who were trying to take over the area as protests continue in response the the shooting of Winston Smith the day before by police in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 4, 2021.
A small group of protesters who had closed the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street in Uptown clashed with officers on bike who were trying to take over the area as protests continue in response the the shooting of Winston Smith the day before by police in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 4, 2021.

  • Lawmakers in Minnesota reached an agreement on police reform efforts in a larger public safety bill.
  • The agreement came a day after former officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.
  • Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder and other charges in the death of George Floyd.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison, lawmakers in Minnesota reached an agreement on the highlights of a public safety bill that includes police reform, the Associated Press reported.

Top Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature said while not every aspect of the public safety and judiciary budget bill is finalized, they’ve reached compromises on key parts.

The agreement includes creating a police misconduct database to be able to detect and keep bad officers off the streets, regulating the use of no-knock warrants, and creating offices or task forces to look into missing or murdered Indigenous and Black women, KARE11 reported.

Legislators began to introduce police reform bills after massive protests across the country following the death of George Floyd last summer. Floyd died after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for several minutes despite his repeated pleas that he couldn’t breathe.

Chauvin was found guilty in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.

The reform efforts were reinforced by other instances of police-involved shootings and violence in the state including that of Daunte Wright. Wright was fatally shot at a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, just 11 miles from where Floyd had been killed.

Following Floyd and Wright’s deaths, Democrats in the state pushed for more police reform, including limits on pretextual traffic stops, but Republicans pushed back, calling the measures “anti-police.”

“[The bill] doesn’t include some of the important police reform and accountability measures pushed by the House, but it is a step forward in delivering true public safety and justice for all Minnesotans despite divided government,” Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman said, the AP reported.

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George Floyd’s brother asks judge to give Derek Chauvin longest prison term possible: ‘My family and I have been given a life sentence.’

Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, wipes away tears as he speaks during an interview with broadcaster Roland Martin at Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, wipes away tears as he speaks during an interview with broadcaster Roland Martin at Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

  • Philonise Floyd said he has not been able to sleep since his brother George was killed last year.
  • “George’s life mattered,” he said at a sentencing hearing Friday for Derek Chauvin.
  • Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree murder and other charges.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

George Floyd’s brother pleaded Friday for former police officer Derek Chauvin to be given the maximum sentence possible for his role in the killing, saying his own family has already been given a “life sentence.”

Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in April 2021 for killing Floyd last May in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Speaking at Chauvin’s sentencing hearing, Philonise Floyd said that he has been tormented by the murder of his brother, which sparked a summer of protests across the country. The video of George Floyd’s killing, in which Chauvin kneels on his neck for more than nine minutes, was seen around the world.

“For an entire year, I had to relive George being tortured to death every hour of the day, only taking naps and not knowing what a good night’s sleep is anymore,” Floyd said.

“With a smirk on his faceā€¦ Officer Chauvin used excessive force and acted against his training. Chauvin had no regard for human life – George’s life,” he said.

He urged the judge to hand Chauvin the maximum sentence for each charge, or up to 75 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

“My family and I have been given a life sentence,” he said. “We will never be able to get George back.”

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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Trump was concerned that publicly showing ’empathy’ in George Floyd case would indicate weakness to political base: book

donald trump 2024
Former President Donald Trump.

  • WSJ reporter Michael C. Bender chronicled Trump’s term in office and what led to his 2020 loss.
  • After the death of George Floyd, many Americans were galvanized to fight against racism.
  • Trump was worried that publicly showing “empathy” would turn off his base, according to Bender’s forthcoming book.
  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

After untold millions of people witnessed the murder of George Floyd on video last year, the calls for justice were immediate, especially among Black Americans.

When former President Donald Trump saw the Floyd video on Air Force One last year, he “contorted his face as he watched” and “looked repulsed,” according to a forthcoming book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael C. Bender.

Trump, who was surrounded by senior advisor Jared Kushner, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, and social media director and deputy White House chief of staff Dan Scavino, didn’t finish watching the clip.

“This is f—— terrible,” the former president reportedly said.

Trump’s response to the sustained outcry over Floyd’s death was detailed in an excerpt of the book, “Frankly We Did Win This Election’: The Inside Story of How Donald Trump Lost,” which was published in Politico Magazine on Friday.

After rankling then-Attorney General William Barr last May by calling for an expedited probe into the case, Trump recalled hearing of ferocious tactics used by police growing up in Queens, New York.

“I know these f—— cops,” the former president said. “They can be rough.”

Read more: Steve Bannon asked Trump’s DOJ to reimburse more than $1 million in legal fees from the Russia probe

To some of the individuals who heard the comment, Trump’s critique of the police was quite unusual and reflected a point of view that he never revealed in public.

However, Trump didn’t feel it was his role to display “empathy” in the Floyd case and “he worried that such a display would signal weakness to his base,” according to the book.

After watching demonstrators in Minneapolis and protests that sprouted up across the country, Trump was incensed.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd,” he wrote on Twitter. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

After abandoning an idea to pay his respects to Floyd by attending the funeral, Trump’s deteriorating position on race relations continued throughout the summer and spilled into the 2020 presidential election, where he lost to now-President Joe Biden.

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An attorney for DC police said the agency used ‘tear gas’ in Lafayette Square Park ahead of Trump’s bible photo-op: report

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US President Donald Trump holds a Bible while visiting St. John’s Church across from the White House after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd June 1, 2020, in Washington, DC.

  • An attorney for the Metropolitan Police Department defended the agency’s use of tear gas last year, WUSA9 reported.
  • The MPD has continued to deny its involvement in clearing protestors ahead of Trump’s bible photo-op in Lafayette Square last June.
  • The MPD and federal police are being sued by the ACLU-DC over their actions in June last year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

An attorney for the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department said that MPD officers used tear gas on June 1 last year when protestors were cleared from Lafayette Square and the surrounding area ahead of then-President Donald Trump’s photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

“The curfew, violence of past nights, chaos created by federal defendants, discharge of tear gas in that direction was not unreasonable,” attorney Richard Sobiecki, representing MPD, said, according to a report from local news outlet WUSA9.

The lawyer’s comments come as part of the American Civil Liberties Union of DC lawsuit against MPD and federal police over their use of tear gas last year when they cleared Lafayette Square.

Sobiecki argued that officers did not violate the demonstrators’ constitutional rights because they “did not target specific protesters,” according to the report.

The Metropolitan Police Department did not return Insider’s request for comment Sunday.

The incident occurred nearly a year ago, on June 1, 2020, amid nationwide protests in response to a Minneapolis police officer’s killing of George Floyd. As The Washington Post previously reported, authorities just after 6:30 p.m. ahead of the city’s then-7 p.m. curfew fired flash-bang shells and rubber bullets into the crowd and used gas to make way for Trump.

After demonstrators had been removed, Trump gave a brief speech in the Rose Garden before he left the White House grounds, walked through Lafayette Square where protestors had been, and posed for a photo holding a bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church.

“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law-enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled,” Trump said last year prior to the widely criticized photo-op. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

During a June 2, 2020, press conference, Newsham said he was aware that Trump would be moving into Lafayette Square but said “the Metropolitan Police Department did not participate in that movement,” the City Paper reported.

The Washington City Paper in July last year reported that video appeared to show that MPD officers had deployed the use of tear gas on the June 1 incident, contradicting statements from MPD Chief Peter Newsham that his officers weren’t involved in the clearing of protestors.

A police spokesperson told the City Paper at the time MPD was “not involved in the unscheduled movement of the president from Lafayette Square.”

As WUSA9 reported, protestors present at the time also said they saw MPD police officers using tear gas as they fled tear gas that was used by federal police. The White House at the time disputed the characterization of the substances used on peaceful protestors as tear gas.

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I’m an incarcerated person. I know for a fact that Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict isn’t ‘accountability,’ it’s just punishment

derek chauvin verdict reactions
Two women embrace in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a jury announced their verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

  • When Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, many people heralded the concept of “accountability.”
  • As an incarcerated person who has strived to better myself, we need to learn the difference between accountability and simple punishment.
  • Christopher Blackwell is a writer who is incarcerated at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe, Washington.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

“Accountability” is a word that’s often thrown around with little to no understanding of its true meaning and purpose. This has never been more true than with the recent conviction of Derek Chauvin and the dialogue around it.

When NBA superstar LeBron James responded to the conviction with one word, “ACCOUNTABILITY,” it got over 228,000 likes and over 30,000 retweets, it showed that people have lost touch with what accountability actually means.

Yes, Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd, as he should have been, but this is not accountability, this is just punishment. The criminal justice system conflates these two concepts, but we cannot follow suit.

Worth a thousands words

The false equivalency between punishment and accountability has been dished-out to society through our dysfunctional justice system. We’ve been led to believe that punishment will solve all our problems, but it won’t. What makes an arbitrary number of years spent in prison equivalent to accountability? How does that right the harm that was caused?

We need to understand what accountability actually is. When used properly, true accountability can bring growth and healing, and this is what we should all strive for when harm occurs. True accountability allows us to learn from the pain we caused and break the cycle of our harmful ways. I know, because when I was 22 years old, I took a human life during a drug robbery. This led me to receive a 38 year-long prison sentence. When I first received my sentence I thought, “I deserve this. I took a life, and now I have to pay the price.” This was what I had been taught growing up in a dysfunctional system that never had my or my community’s best interest at heart.

Years went by before I realized that being accountable for my actions had nothing to do with the prison sentence I received. Being accountable was about me doing deep personal work that would help me see I needed to own the harm I had caused, and most importantly, I had to stop making excuses for my actions and acknowledge that only I was responsible for the damage.. Of course, there are mitigating factors and circumstances that lead us to live certain lifestyles – especially criminal lifestyles – nevertheless, our actions are our own and must be acknowledged as such.

When I took an individual’s life, it didn’t matter what my intentions were – whether it was an accident or self defense or a rash moment of confusion – I had chosen to do a robbery and during that robbery I had taken a human life. I needed to be accountable for that harm. I could serve a hundred life sentences, but that wouldn’t make me accountable, nor would it do anything for those I’ve harmed.

When doing the work to hold myself accountable, I found that the extremely broken criminal justice system doesn’t offer accountability, or even a path towards it. It merely offers a conviction through the law and then warehouses those convicted. That’s it. I came to the conclusion that only I, and I alone, would be able to begin the process of holding myself accountable.

I do want to acknowledge that it’s easy, after being stepped on for a lifetime, to lose sight of the end goal and mistake a conviction through the courts as accountability. Even after all my years of training as a restorative justice facilitator in accountability, I fell victim to wanting to see Derek Chauvin suffer. When they said he would be held in solitary confinement, an evil laugh escaped my lips because I have spent countless days in there and I wanted him, a cop, to feel that isolation and pain I and others have been forced to feel. However, I quickly realized that as a prison abolitionist, this isn’t what I actually want. I don’t want to accept this broken system of justice as my own.

Over the last decade, I have committed myself to understanding accountability and how to best hold myself accountable for the harm I’ve caused. I’ve learned how to do this while also taking into account those I’ve harmed: my community, my loved ones and myself. Building these skills while facing the harm I had caused didn’t happen overnight, and I’m still working on it. I will be for the rest of my life. This was the only way to begin to atone for the life-ending harm I caused in my youth.

In Derek Chauvin’s case, accountability will only come if he does the work to hold himself accountable. As a society, we can punish him, but that’s all we can do. Accountability is his responsibility. Being held responsible by someone else is much different then being held accountable by ourselves.

As a society, we need to decide: are we looking for the kind of justice and accountability that will stop police from killing people of color in our communities, or are we just willing to buy into the broken system of so-called justice that has destroyed our communities and countless lives within them?

We cannot continue to allow these racist, over-zealous cops to continue to murder people in the streets. But we also don’t want to fall victim to believing that their version of justice is the same as ours, because in the end their policing system will always target those it was designed to oppress: impoverished communities of color like the one I grew up in. We owe them and ourselves so much more.

Christopher Blackwell, 40, is incarcerated at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe, Washington, and is working toward publishing a book on solitary confinement. His writing has been published by The Washington Post, HuffPost, BuzzFeed, Jewish Currents, and many other publications. He is serving a 45-year sentence. Follow Christopher on Twitter.

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George Floyd’s brother says if Congress can protect bald eagles, they can ‘make federal laws to protect people of color’

Floyd family
Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, talks with reporters with other family members after meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House, Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Washington

  • George Floyd’s brother urged Congress to pass police reform on the anniversary of his death.
  • Philonise Floyd said if Congress can protect the bald eagle, they should also “protect people of color.”
  • Congressional leaders are working behind the scenes on bipartisan police reform.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police last year, said that if Congress can pass legislation to protect endangered birds, they should also take action on police reform to “protect people of color.”

The Floyd family and their legal team, led by civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, met with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death.

“This is the thing, if you can make federal laws to protect the bird, which is a bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color,” Floyd said, calling on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

Floyd said Biden was a “genuine guy” and said it was “a pleasure” to meet with him, adding that both Biden and Harris “speak from the heart.” Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was formally convicted by a jury in Floyd’s murder on April 20, 2021.

Read more: Inside the police reform rift between Black Lives Matter activists and Democrats one year after protests engulfed the nation

All the Floyd family members praised Biden and Harris, and advocated for Congress to take real action on police reform.

Congress on Tuesday officially missed a deadline set by Biden to pass federal legislation overhauling law enforcement practices.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives first passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in June 2020 and again in March 2021 in a party-line vote.

The bill includes bans on the use of chokehold and no-knock warrants, requires federal law enforcement to use body and dashboard cameras, prohibits racial profiling, and ends qualified immunity for police officers, among other provisions.

Congressional leaders from both parties including Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin and Cory Booker and Republican Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham are currently negotiating behind the scenes on a version of police reform legislation that could obtain the 10 necessary Republican votes to overcome the filibuster and pass the Senate.

Scott and Durbin have told reporters in recent days that while the two sides are making steady progress and finding common ground, a final version of the bill is still a ways off.

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Biden to host family of George Floyd at White House on the first anniversary of his death

George Floyd family funeral.JPG
The family of George Floyd speaks at his funeral on June 9, 2020. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis Police officers on May 25.

  • President Joe Biden will host George Floyd’s family at the White House on Tuesday.
  • The visit marks the first anniversary of his death at the hands of a white police officer.
  • Talks focused on the police reform bill named after Floyd have stalled on Capitol Hill.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden will host George Floyd’s family at the White House Tuesday to mark the first anniversary of his death at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday the president would mark the anniversary of Floyd’s death, but offered no further details on his plans.

Floyd died on May 25, 2020 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes, while Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked months of nationwide protests focused on systemic racism and a renewed debate over police reform in the US. Chauvin was convicted last month on multiple charges stemming from Floyd’s death.

Biden’s plans to host Floyd’s family come, however, as talks focused on the police reform bill named after Floyd – have stalled on Capitol Hill. Biden had previously set the anniversary of Floyd’s death as the deadline for the bill’s passage, and left much of the negotiations up to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, but there’s been little movement on the legislation in recent weeks.

Psaki said Friday that the White House is “in close touch” with the negotiators and “they still feel there’s progress being made,” but they’ve acknowledged it’s “unlikely” they’ll pass a bill by Biden’s deadline.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would ban chokeholds by federal officers and end qualified immunity for law enforcement against civil lawsuits, as well as create national standards for policing in a bid to bolster accountability. It passed the House in March, but faces a much tougher road in the evenly-divided Senate, where Republicans have expressed opposition to efforts to repeal qualified immunity.

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Michelle Obama says many Black people ‘live in fear’ and admits to worrying about her daughters ‘every time they get in a car by themselves’

obama michelle sasha
  • Michelle Obama says Black people “live in fear” when grocery shopping, driving, and walking their dogs.
  • The former first lady shared with CBS News her concerns about her daughters.
  • “Every time they get in a car by themselves, I worry about what assumption is being made,” she said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former first lady Michelle Obama in a new interview discussed the fear that Black Americans often experience in their everyday lives and opened up about her worries for her own daughters.

Obama told “CBS This Morning” that many Black people “still live in fear” while doing ordinary activities, such as grocery shopping, walking a dog, and driving.

CBS host Gayle King asked Obama whether her daughters, 19-year-old Sasha and 22-year-old Malia, have their driver’s licenses.

“They’re driving. But every time they get in a car by themselves, I worry about what assumption is being made by somebody who doesn’t know everything about them,” Obama said in a clip of the interview, which airs Monday. “The fact that they are good students and polite girls. But maybe they’re playing their music a little loud. Maybe somebody sees the back of their head and makes an assumption.”

“The innocent act of getting a license puts fear in our hearts,” Obama added.

During the interview, Obama said she felt compelled to speak out after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict in the death of George Floyd, a Black man. The police killing last May sparked national outrage, with millions of people participating in Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.

The Obamas issued a statement reacting to the verdict, saying it “may have been a necessary step on the road to progress” but that “we will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system.”

Obama reiterated that position to CBS and stressed that concerns Black people face need to be talked about more, and “we have to ask our fellow citizens to listen a bit more, and to believe us.”

“We don’t wanna be out there marching. I mean, all those Black Lives Matters kids, they’d rather not have to worry about this,” Obama said. “They’re taking to the streets because they have to. They’re trying to have people understand that that we’re real folks, and the fear that many have of so many of us 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.”

“There’s still work to be done,” she added.

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The DOJ planned to arrest Derek Chauvin in court and charge him with civil-rights violations if he was acquitted of murder, report says

Derek Chauvin
A composite image of Derek Chauvin in his mugshot and being placed in handcuffs after he was found guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd.

  • The DOJ has been building a police-brutality case against Derek Chauvin, the Star Tribune reports.
  • Feds reportedly planned to arrest Chauvin in court if he was not convicted of murder.
  • That case is still going forward and indictments are expected soon, the report said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Justice Department officials planned to arrest Derek Chauvin at the courthouse and charge him with civil-rights violations if he was found not guilty of George Floyd’s murder, or if there was a mistrial, the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix reported Wednesday.

According to the report, federal prosecutors spent months building a police-brutality case against Chauvin and the three other former Minneapolis police officers charged in connection to Floyd’s death.

In an effort not to influence the outcome of the murder trial, the DOJ held off on pushing forward with a grand jury indictment, but had a plan in place in case Chauvin was acquitted in the murder case, according to the Star Tribune.

george floyd protest
Protesters hold signs honoring George Floyd outside Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on March 28, 2021.

Sources familiar with the discussions told the Star Tribune that the original DOJ plan was to arrest Chauvin in the courthouse if he was acquitted or if a mistrial was called, and charge him with federal police-brutality violations.

The Minnesota US Attorney’s Office would charge Chauvin by criminal complaint, so authorities could arrest him immediately, then seek a grand jury indictment afterward, the Star Tribune reported.

But that particular plan was never realized, as a jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death last Tuesday. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison on the most serious charge, second-degree murder, and his sentencing is scheduled to take place in June.

Federal prosecutors are still going forward with the case, but plan to do so by getting a grand jury indictment first, the Star Tribune reported, citing a source. The DOJ impaneled a federal grand jury in February, The New York Times reported at the time.

The source said indictments against Chauvin and the three other officers present for Floyd’s fatal arrest – J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao – were expected soon.

The DOJ is separately opening a civil investigation into the practices of the Minneapolis Police Department, Attorney General Merrick Garland said last week.

Insider has contacted the Department of Justice and the Minnesota US Attorney’s Office for comment.

AP21113750006748
The three other officers who were present at George Floyd’s arrest, from left to right: J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao.

According to the Star Tribune, federal prosecutors planned to charge Chauvin in connection to Floyd’s death and the violent arrest of a 14-year-old boy in 2017. ABC News previously reported that the DOJ was considering charges over the 2017 arrest.

That incident was described in court documents by prosecutors in Floyd’s murder case, who wanted to use it as evidence of a possible pattern of behavior by Chauvin.

In a court filing, prosecutors said Chauvin struck a Black teenager in the head with a flashlight and placed him in a prone position for 17 minutes, the Star Tribune reported. ABC News reported, also citing court documents, that Chauvin ignored complaints that the teen couldn’t breathe.

The Star Tribune reported that the three other officers would be charged only in connection to Floyd’s fatal arrest.

Kueng, Lane, and Thao are also set to stand trial together in August on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

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