Published on :
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin announced Wednesday in U.S. federal court that he is pleading guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights, reversing his original decision to plead not guilty. The affair had sparked the biggest anti-racist protests in decades in the United States.
White policeman Derek Chauvin, convicted of the murder of George Floyd, pleaded guilty on Wednesday (December 15th) to violating the black forty-something’s constitutional rights, during a federal court appearance, local media reported.
The 45-year-old former agent, who knelt on the African-American’s neck for nearly ten minutes in May 2020, had so far never admitted any wrong in the death which shocked the whole world.
Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder by the Minnesota justice and sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison after an extraordinary trial. He appealed against this conviction.
In parallel, the federal justice had opened its own lawsuits by indicting him, as well as his three former colleagues, for “violation of the constitutional rights” of George Floyd.
Rare “double” pursuits
“Double” prosecutions are permitted in the United States, but relatively rare. They reflect the importance of this issue at the heart of giant protests against racism and police violence across the United States.
In this component, the police officer pleaded not guilty in September but changed his strategy Wednesday as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors that will prevent him from a new trial.
No date has yet been set for the sentencing. Federal prosecutors have demanded 25 years in prison at the same time as the sentence handed down in state courts.
The possibility that he would plead guilty in this section had been raised last spring.
At the end of his trial he had fueled speculation by telling the Floyd family: “There will be new information in the future, which I hope will be interesting and give you peace of mind.”