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Chauvin pleads guilty to federal charges

Derek Chauvin speaks at his sentencing at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis on June 25. Associated Press/Photo by Court TV

Chauvin pleads guilty to federal charges

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin changed his plea in court on Wednesday, admitting that he violated George Floyd’s civil rights when he restrained the man on the ground outside a grocery store in May 2020. Chauvin is serving a sentence of 22½ years in prison on state murder and manslaughter charges. He also pleaded guilty to violating the rights of a 14-year-old boy in 2017 by holding him by the throat, hitting him on the head, and kneeling on the boy’s neck and back.

What happens next? While the guilty plea cancels the need for a trial, it likely means more prison time for Chauvin. Federal prosecutors agreed to ask the judge to sentence Chauvin to 25 years served concurrently. The deal would allow his time in state prison to count toward his federal sentence, which he would finish when his state punishment ended. Judge Paul Magnuson did not set a date for sentencing. The plea deal also demands Chauvin never work in law enforcement again and that he pay restitution, but an amount has not been set. Under Minnesota’s justice system, defendants with good behavior serve two-thirds of their prison sentences and the remaining time on supervised release. Three other officers have pleaded not guilty to federal charges in the Floyd case and are scheduled for trial in January. 

Dig deeper: Read Charissa Koh’s report in Compassion about Justice Department police probes.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a WORLD reporter and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College. She resides in Washington, D.C.


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