The Associated Press reported on Monday that it appears former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin will be pleading guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights, according to a notice sent out Monday by the court’s electronic filing system. It was not immediately clear if Chauvin plans to plead guilty to all or just some of the federal charges against him in Floyd’s death.
The federal docket entry shows a hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday for Chauvin to change his current not guilty plea in the case. These types of notices typically indicate a defendant is planning to plead guilty, though nothing will be official until it happens in court. The court system also sent out instructions for the media to attend the hearing.
Chauvin has already been convicted of state murder and manslaughter charges for pinning his knee against Floyd’s neck as the Black man said he couldn’t breathe during a May 25, 2020 arrest. He was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in that case. He and three other former officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao — were set to go to trial in late January on federal charges alleging they willfully violated Floyd’s rights.
Woah, even Derek Chauvin admits his guilt. His defenders can bathe in their racist tears. https://t.co/KhoizdDf8f
— Karen Smith (@karen1smith1) December 13, 2021
All four officers were charged broadly in federal court with depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority, but the federal indictment broke down the counts even further. A count against Chauvin alleged he violated Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and from unreasonable force by a police officer. Thao and Kueng are charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure by not intervening to stop Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd’s neck. All four officers are charged for their failure to provide Floyd with medical care.
Just in: Derek Chauvin is due to appear in court on Wednesday for a change of plea hearing in the federal civil rights case filed against him in the death of George Floyd; he initially pleaded not guilty this fall to the indictment.
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) December 13, 2021
By claiming responsibility, Chauvin can get a shorter federal sentence. It’s also possible that he could arrange to serve his sentence in the federal system, which would benefit him since he has been in solitary confinement in Minnesota and he would have more options federally. But transferring a defendant to the federal system rarely happens, and Chauvin may be considered a target if moved into a general population.
BREAKING | Derek Chauvin is expected to plead guilty to federal civil rights charges for his actions leading to George Floyd's murder. pic.twitter.com/CzQBDCeeNe
— Black News Channel (@BNCNews) December 13, 2021
[This is a developing story, please check back for updates]