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Derek Chauvin pleads guilty in federal civil rights case

 

▶ Watch Video: Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted in the death of George Floyd, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in the federal civil rights case against him.

Chauvin, wearing an orange jumpsuit, signed a plea agreement and changed his plea to guilty during a Wednesday morning hearing in the U.S. District Court in St. Paul, CBS Minnesota reported.

The federal charges were brought by the Justice Department in May, several weeks after Chauvin was convicted in state court on murder and manslaughter charges in the killing that prompted worldwide protests for racial justice and police reform. The federal indictment alleged that Chauvin and three other fired officers deprived Floyd of his civil rights under color of law, meaning while acting in their capacity as police officers.

Chauvin was accused in the federal case of willfully depriving Floyd of the constitutional right to be protected from illegal search and seizure, which includes the right to be free from unreasonable force by a police officer. It says Chauvin did so by pinning Floyd to the ground with a knee on his neck as he was handcuffed and not resisting, resulting in Floyd’s death.

Sentencing is expected at a later date. Prosecutors say they are asking for a 300-month sentence — 25 years — to be served concurrently with Chauvin’s state sentence. Chauvin will also have to pay restitution; the amount has yet to be determined.

Chauvin previously pleaded not guilty to the charges. The change of plea hearing was submitted on the court’s docket Monday and set for Wednesday morning in federal court in St. Paul.

Chauvin also faced a separate federal indictment accusing him of holding a teenager down by the throat in 2017. As part of his plea Wednesday, that indictment will be dismissed, CBS Minnesota’s Esme Murphy reported.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the change of plea entry.

The three other officers charged in the federal indictment, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, are also awaiting trial on state charges of aiding and abetting in Floyd’s death.

In April a jury found Chauvin guilty of all three counts he was facing in the death of George Floyd — second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — for which he has been sentenced to 22 and 1/2 years in prison.

Rob Legare contributed reporting.



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