Derek Chauvin Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty to federal charges that he violated George Floyd’s constitutional rights in a U.S. courthouse on Wednesday.

Chauvin’s appearance in court was likely the longest period he has spent outside of his jail cell since being convicted in April of second-degree murder. He has since been in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison, only allowed out of a 10×10 foot cell for an hour per day.

A federal prosecutor said that Chauvin had reached a plea deal with the government for a 25-year sentence, which would run concurrently with his current state sentence of 22.5 years. That would extend his current sentence by about two and a half years.

Under his current sentencing rules, the earliest Chauvin could be released would likely be around 2042, when he is in his mid-60s.

During the proceedings, Chauvin agreed that his actions caused Mr. Floyd’s death.

 “As Mr. Floyd lay on the ground, handcuffed and unresisting, you kept your knees on Mr. Floyd’s neck and body even after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive, correct?”

“Correct,” Mr. Chauvin responded.

Chauvin also pleaded guilty to another federal charge of violating the civil rights of a 14-year-old boy in 2017, and agreed that he had held the boy by the throat, struck him in the head with a flashlight and pressed his knee on the neck of the teenager, who is Black, without justification. The teenager, who has not been publicly identified, sat in the courtroom during the proceedings, as did relatives of Mr. Floyd.