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Thousands march in Washington, D.C. protesting police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of local police, on Saturday, June 6, 2020.  Derek Chauvin, the police officer that was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes as the unarmed, handcuffed man laid flat and unable to breathe, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Mass demonstrations have taken place nationwide since the incident took place. Thousands march in Washington, D.C. protesting police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of local police on June 6, 2020. Photo by Diego Radzinschi/ALM

Like many of you, I have been watching the news about the tragic and probably criminal death of George Floyd, and the ensuing outrage by thousands of people in the United States and around the world.

Who is accountable for the death of someone in police custody in the United States?  Responsibility for criminal conduct rests solely with the individual law enforcement officer(s) who directly caused the person’s death. Civil liability should be borne by the law enforcement agency and political subdivision (city, county, state, or federal government), but rarely is.

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