A redundant prosecution?

According to a source whose affiliation is not even hinted, the Department of Justice will seek federal indictments of Derek Chauvin and his three former colleagues in the death of George Floyd. The unidentified source leaked this and related news to the Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix.

I assume that Mannix’s source is affiliated with the Department of Justice, either the Office of the United States Attorney for Minnesota or the local office of the FBI. Mannix does not note that the leak violates Department of Justice policy, but it does. I assume that is the reason his identity is entirely kept from view in Mannix’s story.

As everybody knows, Chauvin was just convicted in state court of second-degree murder for Floyd’s death last week. He is to be sentenced on June 25. The State is seeking a sentence enhanced beyond the otherwise applicable sentencing guidelines. Whatever sentence is handed down, Chauvin will be going away for a long time.

The case against the three other officers is set for trial in August. Their prospects do not look great. The leak to Mannix can only prejudice their case.

Mannix’s long story does not even touch on the obvious question raised by the prospective indictments. As to Chauvin, a 2017 incident that was excluded from the Floyd case is apparently to be raised. Yet the obvious question remains. What purpose are these prospective indictments of the four former officers intended to serve beyond the state court proceedings?

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