Ex-Cop Derek Chauvin Pleads Guilty to Violating George Floyd's Civil Rights
15:19 GMT 15.12.2021 (Updated: 16:29 GMT 15.12.2021)
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, along with three other ex-cops, initially pleaded not guilty to charges of federal civil rights violations in relation to the killing of black man George Floyd. Chauvin was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to 22.5 years behind bars.
Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin on Wednesday pleaded guilty to violating George Floyd's civil rights, changing his initial plea.
The move essentially means Chauvin will not face a federal trial in January. Three other former cops indicted on federal charges alongside Chauvin earlier in the year are still to face the trial on the charge.
His plea agreement, according to an NBC affiliate report, contains stipulations that federal charges will be dismissed in a separate incident and that Chauvin will never again be able to serve as a licensed law enforcement officer.
After being convicted of Floyd's murder during the spring, Chauvin pleaded not guilty to civil rights violation, and so did his three former colleagues. Charged with murder and manslaughter, he was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.
The charges included two counts alleging that Chauvin deprived Floyd of his rights by kneeling on his neck as the latter was handcuffed and not resisting, and then failing to provide medical care.
© REUTERS / JANE ROSENBERGProsecutor Jerry Blackwell delivers the rebuttal to the defense closing arguments during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (R) for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. April 19, 2021 in this courtroom sketch.
Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell delivers the rebuttal to the defense closing arguments during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (R) for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. April 19, 2021 in this courtroom sketch.
Floyd, who was black, died in police custody in late May 2020, when Chauvin (who is white) kneeled on him when on the ground for almost 10 minutes. A video that showed his arrest and death swiftly went viral and caused a massive public outcry, prompting a wave of nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.
The protests were picked up in other countries as well, resulting in massive anti-police sentiment (in the US, many activists went as far as to call for defunding the police). The demonstrations also fuelled the Black Lives Matter movement, with calls emerging to reconsider some parts of history that may seem racist to some of the activists.
For Chauvin, this is not the only case in which he has been accused of excessive use of force, as he is simultaneously being charged in connection with a 2017 incident with a then-14-year-old boy. The former cop pled guilty to depriving the boy of his constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force. During the 2017 arrest, Chauvin held the boy by the throat and held his knee on his neck and upper back while he was handcuffed and not resisting.