Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was in talks with prosecutors to plead guilty before he was arrested on May 29, an official involved in his case said.
Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed black man accused of forgery, on Memorial Day. Chauvin was a police officer until he was fired shortly after the incident.
“There were early negotiations with the defendant, between the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney,” Hennepin County Attorney spokesperson Chuck Laszewski said in a statement to Fox 9. “Ultimately, those negotiations failed.”
The attorney’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota didn’t pick up the phone.
Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, told The Epoch Times via email: “I am not commenting on the case on or off the record at this point.”
Tom Kelly, Chauvin’s former lawyer, couldn’t be reached.
While Floyd died on May 25, Chauvin wasn’t arrested until May 29. A press conference making announcements in the investigation held on May 28 was delayed by over 90 minutes.
When the briefing started, U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald apologized, saying: “We thought we would have another development that I could tell you about. Unfortunately, we don’t at this point.”
Sources told Fox 9 the deal would have included state murder charges and federal civil rights charges.
Chauvin was arrested and charged on May 29. Democrat state Attorney General Keith Ellison took over the prosecution of case soon after and elevated the murder charge to second-degree murder.
Ellison also charged the three other police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest with aiding and abetting murder.
None have pleaded guilty.
State, county, and federal investigators are conducting probes into what happened when officers responded after a Cup Foods employee told a dispatcher that they received counterfeit money.
Video footage showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, including about two minutes after Floyd stopped moving. Floyd had complained he couldn’t breathe.
Two other officers, J. Alexander Keung and Thomas Lane, were restraining the man’s middle and lower body while the fourth, Tou Thao, stood nearby.