A federal judge has accepted a plea deal from Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
According to the Associated Press, 46-year-old Chauvin pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights during a May 25, 2020, arrest. Chauvin and three other officers had restrained the unarmed Floyd after he was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill to purchase a pack of cigarettes.
Cellphone footage showed Chauvin and his colleagues pinning Floyd to the pavement; officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng were seen holding down Floyd’s legs and back while Chauvin was filmed kneeling on the man’s neck for approximately nine minutes. The video captured Floyd repeatedly telling the officers he couldn’t breathe before he ultimately lost consciousness. The 46-year-old Black man was pronounced dead shortly after.
Chauvin pleaded guilty to the federal charges back in December, saying “he willfully deprived Floyd of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, including unreasonable force by a police officer.”
Under the plea deal, Chauvin will be sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison. Presiding U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson has yet to set a sentencing date; however, the AP reports the term will be served concurrently with Chauvin’s 270 month-prison sentence, which stems from his murder conviction at the state level. The ex-officer, who is now appealing the murder conviction, has waived the right to contest the federal conviction. Chauvin is expected to serve around 17 to 21 years behind bars “assuming all good-time credit.”
Former officers Lane, Kueng, and Tou Thao, who was also present during Floyd’s death, were also found guilty of violating the man’s civil rights in February. They are scheduled to go to trial next month for allegedly aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder.