UPDATED 12/15, 10:50 a.m. ET: Derek Chauvin has pleaded guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights, the Washington Post reports. He will no longer face a January trial, and will be sentenced by a judge at a later date.
See original story below.
Derek Chauvin—the former Minneapolis police officer who has already been convicted of state murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of George Floyd—is expected to plead guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights.
A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday for Chauvin to change his not-guilty plea, as revealed by the court’s electronic filing system, which usually means a defendant is planning to plead guilty, according to the Associated Press. The notice also came with instructions for members of the media to attend the hearing.
Chauvin has already been sentenced to 22.5 years after pinning a knee against Floyd’s neck as he pleaded for help during the fatal arrest. The former officer, along with Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao, were all set to head to court in January for federal charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights. There is no evidence that Kueng and Lane—who helped restrain Floyd for over nine minutes as he was being killed, according to state evidence—or Thao intend to change their pleas. Thao is alleged to have held back bystanders during Floyd’s murder.
Chauvin’s charges allege he violated Floyd’s right to “be free from unreasonable seizure” and from “unreasonable force by a police officer,” as Thao and Kueng are charged with violating his right to be “free from unreasonable seizure” for not assisting Floyd in the situation. All four officers are charged with failure to provide Floyd with medical care. Chauvin is also being charged separately over an arrest of a teenage boy in 2017, and use of force to the boy’s neck.
The three other officers, who are being charged with “aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter” in state court, are expected to see trial in March.
Back in September, the four men pleaded not guilty to the rights violations. At the time, plenty of other motions took place, as Keung’s attorney, Tom Plunkett, asked for his client to have a separate federal trial from Chauvin since “the jurors will not be able to follow the Court’s instructions and compartmentalize the evidence as it related to Mr. Kueng.” Thao asked for the same, as Lane later asked to join the request, but prosecutors argue that the men should have the same trial since they were involved in the same event.