ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ever since the murder of George Floyd almost two years ago on a South Minneapolis street corner, the overwhelming focus of attention from the public and the legal system has been on the police officer who killed him, Derek Chauvin.
Mr. Chauvin was convicted of two counts of murder in a state trial last spring for kneeling on the neck of Mr. Floyd for more than nine minutes. He also pleaded guilty to federal crimes of violating Mr. Floyd’s constitutional rights.
But Mr. Chauvin wasn’t the only police officer there that day. Three others who were on the scene face a trial beginning Monday in a federal courthouse in downtown St. Paul, Minn., accused of willfully failing to intervene against Mr. Chauvin and help Mr. Floyd.
The case is an extraordinarily rare example of federal civil rights charges being filed against rank-and-file officers for not stopping the actions of a superior officer. Several experts say its outcome could have a greater impact on policing than even Mr. Chauvin’s convictions.
acquitted on charges of lying about the shooting to protect Mr. Van Dyke.