Justice Dept considering charging Derek Chauvin for brutal 2017 attack on Black teen: ABC
Derek Chauvin Mugshot

According to a report from ABC News, officials in the Justice Department are taking a hard look at possibly indicting former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin for an attack on a Black teen dating back to 2017.

Chauvin, who was convicted on three counts and is awaiting sentencing over the killing of George Floyd last year after he knelt on the Black man's neck for over 9 minutes in a city street while onlookers begged him to let him up, could find himself back in court on new charges.

According to a source who spoke with ABC News, federal investigators are looking at videos from Sept. 4, 2017, where Chauvin is reportedly seen, "striking a Black teenager in the head so hard that the boy needed stitches, then allegedly holding the boy down with his knee for nearly 17 minutes, and allegedly ignoring complaints from the boy that he couldn't breathe."

While Chauvin was never charged locally, "Two months ago, federal prosecutors in Minneapolis brought witnesses before a federal grand jury to provide testimony related to the incident," ABC is reporting before adding, "... this week, a source informed of the probe told ABC News that the investigation is still underway, with the Justice Department still weighing whether to bring federal charges against Chauvin for both the 2017 incident and George Floyd's death."

Prosecutors were barred from describing the 2017 assault during the Floyd trial.

According to a report issued by state prosecutor Matthew Frank about the 2017 incident, "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, noting that at one point the teenager's ear began bleeding. "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," adding that Chauvin did remove his knee from the teen's neck after approximately eight minutes and transferring it to his back.

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