By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — All four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest and death have been indicted on federal civil rights charges Friday. Derek Chauvin was also indicted in a 2017 case where he allegedly held a 14-year-old by the throat, struck him, and held his knee on his neck and back for 17 minutes.

Chauvin was among four officers who responded to a domestic call at a home in 2017, described as a family dispute. Attorney Bob Bennett’s client John Pope was 14-years-old at the time.

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“I think he would say he didn’t feel that he was very far away from where George Floyd ended up,” Bennett said.

According to documents, Chauvin hit Pope, “grabbed the child’s throat and hit him again in the head with his flashlight,” then “Chauvin applied a neck restraint, causing the child to lose consciousness and go to the ground.”

He was handcuffed on his stomach, and “Chauvin removed his knee from the child’s back, some 17 minutes after restraining him to the floor and kneeling on him.” Pope received stitches on his ear at the hospital.

“(This) shows that Derek Chauvin is a serial predator, and that a 14-year-old John Pope and George Floyd were merely prey to him,” Bennett said.

In a police report Chauvin noted Pope was “approximately 6’2″ and at least 240 pounds,” and “believed he would escalate his efforts to not be arrested.”

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Bennett says Minneapolis police never disciplined Chauvin for the incident.

“This went unchallenged for four years because there was no public video,” Bennett said, “but this conduct was just as abhorrent to a handcuffed, non-resisting person who was never even charged with a crime.”

Reporter Jennifer Mayerle spoke with Pope about that day. He told her he was hurt and scared, and didn’t know how he ended up under Derek Chauvin’s knee, but it seemed like it was for a long time.

“It’s such a horrific experience that leaves an indelible mark.” Bennett went on to say, “He hasn’t let it define him but it can’t help but be part of the baggage you carry around every day,” Bennett said.

Bennett says when appropriate, he plans to file a civil suit against the Minneapolis Police department, naming Chauvin and likely the other officers that were on the scene.

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Jennifer Mayerle