Derek Chauvin Expected To Plead Guilty In Federal Civil Rights Case

Photo: Getty Images

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is expected to plead guilty in the federal civil rights case he faces for the May 25, 2020 murder of George Floyd.

Should Chauvin go through with a guilty plea, he won’t have to go through a trial, but would be potentially significantly increasing his prison sentence.

Chauvin’s apparent impending guilty plea surfaced on Monday (December 13) after the court’s electronic filing system sent out a notice about a hearing scheduled for Wednesday (December 15) for Chauvin to change his not guilty plea, which usually indicates the defendant is planning to plea guilty. Nothing will be confirmed though until it goes down in court.

In April, a jury convicted Chauvin of state manslaughter and murder charges for killing Floyd and was sentenced to 22 and half years in prison.

If Chauvin admits responsibility in the federal case, he could a reduced sentence for the federal charges, and might have negotiated a deal to serve out the time in federal system. He’s been in solitary confinement since being sentenced in June.
Federal prison doesn’t have parole, and given his notoriety, he might still be segregated within the federal prison system, too.

What Chauvin’s Guilty Plea could mean for the Other Officers

Photo: Getty Images

At the beginning of this year, Chauvin, along with three others involved with Floyd’s killing –– Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Keung –– were indicted on federal civil rights charges that accuse the former officers of willfully violating Floyd’s Constitutional rights.

Legal analysts predict that a trial without Chauvin present could benefit the other officers by potentially reducing the amount of inflammatory evidences federal jurors would see.

Chauvin’s guilty plea could open him up to taking the stand –– another potential benefit for the others, since Chauvin could testify that he was the senior officer on the scene at the time of Floyd’s death.

The other officers had their prior request for a trial separate from Chauvin denied. So far, there’s no indication on how the others might plea.

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