Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty on federal civil rights charges during a court hearing on Wednesday, averting a new trial.
Chauvin also pleaded guilty to an unrelated case where he was accused of using similar tactics while detaining a 14-year-old in Minneapolis in 2017. An indictment in that case had alleged Chauvin held the teenager by the throat and held a knee on his back during an arrest.
In a plea agreement, prosecutors are requesting that Chauvin get sentenced to 300 months, or 25 years, in prison to be served concurrently with his 22 and a half year sentence. Chauvin was convicted on state murder charges earlier this year in connection to the death of George Floyd, a convicted felon.
Chauvin was accused of depriving Floyd of his rights by conducting “unreasonable seizure, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer.”
While in court Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Slaughter asked Chauvin to confirm some details in the plea agreement, namely whether he held Floyd on the ground after he became unresponsive.
“Correct,” said Chauvin on each of the questions asked by Slaughter.
Chauvin also remarked, “Guilty, your honor” to confirm his pleas in Floyd’s death and an unrelated 2017 case, and acknowledged that he was guilty of the acts alleged.
With parole and presuming good behavior, Chauvin is expected to serve about 15 years of his state sentence behind bars. Any federal sentence would run at the same time as the state sentence, and defendants serve about 85 percent of federal sentences presuming good behavior. That means if the judge gives Chauvin the maximum 25 years requested, he would likely serve about six years and three months beyond his state sentence.
Judge Paul Magnuson didn’t set a date for sentencing during Wednesday’s hearing. Nine people appeared to support Chauvin, including his family members, according to the pool report.
Three other former Minneapolis officers—Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao—were indicted on federal charges earlier this year. They are still slated to go on trial early next year.
Floyd’s death in May 2020 sparked protests, riots, arson attacks, and widespread looting across numerous cities. Some law enforcement experts believe anti-police riots, coupled with the left-wing “defund the police” movement, are at least partially responsible surge of violent crime and homicides across at least a dozen major U.S. cities.
According to a recent analysis of crime statistics, cities including Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and St. Paul, Minnesota—located adjacent to Minneapolis—have set all-time murder records in 2021.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.