Posted on December 17, 2021

Derek Chauvin Pleads Guilty to Violating George Floyd’s Civil Rights

Bill Chappell, NPR, December 15, 2021

Derek Chauvin has pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of George Floyd, the man he was found guilty of murdering. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, is white; Floyd was Black.

Chauvin is currently in prison, serving a 22 ½-year sentence that a Minnesota judge handed down in June. Chauvin appeared in court Wednesday to change his plea in the federal case, which had been poised to go to trial next month.

In addition to the charges he faced in relation to Floyd’s murder in 2020, the federal case accused Chauvin of violating an unnamed 14-year-old’s civil rights in late 2017, when he “held Juvenile 1 by the throat and struck Juvenile 1 multiple times in the head with a flashlight,” according to court documents.

Chauvin’s guilty plea also applies to those charges, which accused him of unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer.

“Federal prosecutors are recommending a sentence of up to 25 years” for the civil rights violations, Minnesota Public Radio reports.


Still facing federal charges are J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, the three former police officers who were with Chauvin when he pinned Floyd’s chest and face to the asphalt and knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes, resulting in his death.