Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty on Wednesday in a federal court to charges he violated George Floyd’s civil rights, likely extending his prison sentence by several years after his earlier conviction for the Black man’s murder.
Chauvin, 45, appeared in the U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota in an orange jumpsuit to waive his right to a trial by changing his plea to guilty in an agreement with prosecutors, precluding the risk of a sentence of up to life in prison had he gone to trial.
A state judge had already sentenced Chauvin to 22-1/2 years in prison in June after a jury convicted him for the 2020 murder of Floyd, and he has since been held in solitary confinement in a maximum-security Minnesota prison. In Minnesota, prisoners are eligible for supervised release after completing two thirds of their sentence.
As part of the agreement, Chauvin admitted he also breached the civil rights of a boy he arrested in 2017 who was 14 at the time, beating the boy’s head with a flashlight and kneeling on his neck, which drew charges in a separate federal indictment.
Lane, Kueng and Thao were also fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and face charges in a state trial, due to begin in March, that they aided and abetted the killing of Floyd. The three face a federal trial in January as well on charges they deprived Floyd of his rights.
The indictment said Thao and Kueng violated Floyd’s rights by not intervening to stop Chauvin from kneeling on his neck, and that all the officers involved showed deliberate indifference to Floyd’s serious medical needs.
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