Derek Chauvin Pleads Guilty to Violating George Floyd’s Civil Rights

Former white Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on Dec. 15 pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating the civil rights of George Floyd and a minor.

Chauvin entered a new plea during a hearing in a federal court in St. Paul, Minnesota, three months after he previously pleaded not guilty to violating Floyd’s rights and nearly 18 months after he knelt on Floyd’s neck for over nine and a half minutes.

A jury convicted Chauvin in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the death of Floyd, a Black man.

By pleading guilty to the federal charges, Chauvin agreed that the appropriate base offense level for the death of Floyd was second-degree murder.

In a separate federal case, Chauvin also pleaded guilty to depriving a then-14-year-old Black individual of his civil rights, resulting in the minor’s bodily injury.

“Defendant Chauvin has pleaded guilty to two federal civil rights violations, one of which led to the tragic loss of George Floyd’s life,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

“While recognizing that nothing can repair the harm caused by such acts, the Justice Department is committed to holding accountable those who violate the Constitution, and to safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans,” Garland further said.

Under the plea agreement, Chauvin faces a sentence of between 20 and 25 years in prison.

The prosecutor asked questions to confirm the details of the plea agreement, including if Chauvin held Floyd to the ground even when he became unresponsive, resulting in his death.

To each question, Chauvin replied, “Correct.”

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson will sentence Chauvin at a later date.

Chauvin remains in prison for 22 and a half years in prison for Floyd’s death after being convicted in April.

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