Derek Chauvin pleads guilty in George Floyd civil rights case News
Derek Chauvin pleads guilty in George Floyd civil rights case

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin altered his not guilty plea to guilty Wednesday in a civil rights case tied to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota District Court. 

On May 25, 2020, Chauvin and other officers responded to a 911 call by a store owner that Floyd, a Black male, tried using a counterfeit bill. Bystanders videoed Chauvin handcuffing Floyd, ordering Floyd to the ground and putting his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. Shortly after, Floyd became unresponsive and an ambulance took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The video sparked national outrage and protests over excessive use of force by police against Black Americans.

Chauvin was charged with federal civil rights charges, specifically depriving Floyd’s right to freedom from “unreasonable seizure, which include[d] the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer.” Chauvin was previously charged in the Hennepin County District Court with counts of second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. A jury found Chauvin guilty on all three charges and a Minnesota judge sentenced him to 22 and a half years in state prison.

His guilty plea to this offense could result in a life sentence or the death penalty. Sentencing is expected at a later date. Prosecutors say they are seeking a 300-month sentence, or 25 years, to be served concurrently with Chauvin’s state sentence. Chauvin will also have to pay restitution to Chauvin’s family, though the amount has yet to be determined.