The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) is mulling whether to charge now-convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in connection with a 2017 incident in which he allegedly violently handled a 14-year-old boy and used his knee to hold the teenager down for almost 17 minutes, according to a report.
ABC News cited a source in reporting that Minnesota prosecutors had tried in the months leading up to Chauvin’s trial to include video evidence from at least one of his prior arrests, but the judge ultimately denied their request.
State prosecutor Matthew Frank, who argued in court papers for the video to be used in Chauvin’s trial, said the body camera footage in question shows “Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force towards this child and complete disdain for his well-being.”
The video allegedly shows Chauvin aggressively handling the teenager while the now-ex-cop was responding to a domestic violence call with another cop in September 2017, according to the report. The teenager was reportedly one of two people accused of assaulting his mother.
ABC News reported that the footage allegedly depicted Chauvin striking the 14-year-old’s head after he wouldn’t comply with officers. Chauvin allegedly struck the teen with a flashlight twice and held the boy’s throat, according to the report. He then “applied a neck restraint, causing the child to lose consciousness and go to the ground,” Frank wrote in court papers.
“Chauvin and [the other officer] placed [the teenager] in the prone position and handcuffed him behind his back while the teenager’s mother pleaded with them not to kill her son and told her son to stop resisting,” Frank wrote, according to the report. “About a minute after going to the ground, the child began repeatedly telling the officers that he could not breathe, and his mother told Chauvin to take his knee off her son.”
He allegedly adjusted his knee after 8 minutes, and placed it on the boy’s upper back for another 9 minutes, Frank wrote.
The teen was arrested for obstruction with force and domestic assault, ABC News reported. He began bleeding from his ears during the allegedly violent arrest and ultimately needed stitches, Frank wrote.
“As was true with the conduct with George Floyd, Chauvin rapidly escalated his use of force for a relatively minor offense,” Frank continued in the court papers.
“Just like with Floyd, Chauvin used an unreasonable amount of force without regard for the need for that level of force or the victim’s well-being. Just like with Floyd, when the child was slow to comply with Chauvin and [the other officer’s] instructions, Chauvin grabbed the child by the throat, forced him to the ground in the prone position, and placed his knee on the child’s neck with so much force that the child began to cry out in pain and tell Chauvin he could not breathe.”
Spokespersons for the DOJ, Minnesota Attorney General’s office and Minneapolis Police Department did not respond to Fox News’ request seeking comment on Friday.
Chauvin stood trial for weeks, starting earlier this month, in connection with the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.
A jury on Tuesday found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He faces decades behind bars at his sentencing, which is scheduled for June 16.