Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, convicted in the murder of George Floyd after a video filmed by a bystander showed the then-officer kneeling on Floyd’s back, depriving him of oxygen, over a period of around ten minutes, is back in court. This time it’s on Federal charges — and he’s changing his plea.
According to the New York Times, the change of plea hearing, in which Chauvin pled guilty, “was most likely among the longest periods he has spent outside a prison cell” since his guilty verdict in April. Chauvin is already sentenced to 22.5 years for murder charges, and in pleading guilty to Federal charges of civil rights violations, he is asking to be sentenced to 25 years, in a Federal prison.
He’s asking to serve this sentence concurrently, so it would only add 2.5 years to his total time, and would move him to a Federal facility.
Three other former officers who were present and have been charged in Floyd’s death were scheduled to face trial in August, NPR reports, but their case has been delayed until March of 2022. J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Like Chauvin, they will face both Federal and state charges.
A date has not yet been set for Chauvin’s sentencing on the Federal charges, but his change of plea to guilty is expected to shorten the process, bypassing a trial that may have been lengthy and difficult for Floyd’s loved ones.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com