Former United States police officer Derek Chauvin, found guilty of the murder of African-American man George Floyd in May 2020, on Wednesday pleaded guilty in a federal court to charges that he violated the man’s civil rights, AP reported.
In June, a Minnesota state court had sentenced Chauvin to 22.5 years in prison, and found him guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The former police officer had pleaded not guilty before the federal court in September, and has now changed his plea to guilty.
Prosecutors have sought a sentence of 300 months, or 25 years, in prison, and that the sentence should run concurrently with the sentence on the state murder charges, CNN reported.
The federal charges against Chauvin pertain to him kneeling on Floyd’s neck although he was handcuffed and not resisting, and not providing medical care.
The former police officer is likely to actually spend 15 years behind bars on account of his state sentence, keeping in mind parole and presuming good behaviour, according to AP. If the federal court sentences him to 25 years, he is reportedly likely to spend about six years and three months more behind bars.
Chauvin on Wednesday also pleaded guilty in a separate case related to violating the rights of a boy during an arrest in 2017. The boy was 14 years old at the time. The officer allegedly hit him in the head with a flashlight, and held his knee on his neck although he was handcuffed and not resisting.
George Floyd case
On May 25, 2020, four police officials detained Floyd after he had allegedly used a counterfeit bill at a store in Minnesota. Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck as the others watched and did nothing to stop him, though passersby stopped to question the officers. Floyd was unarmed.
Protests grew after a widely shared video showed Chauvin kneeling for almost nine minutes on Floyd, as the African-American was seen pleading with the officials. Floyd repeatedly told Chauvin: “I can’t breathe”. He died on the spot.