(TruthandLiberty.com) – In May 2020, a Facebook video sparked a national social justice movement. Then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes. Floyd later died.
For months, protests turned into violent riots and looting. During Chauvin’s trial, experts testified Chauvin’s actions directly contributed to Floyd’s death. In April, a jury convicted the former police officer of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He received a sentence of 22 1/2 years in prison.
On Wednesday, December 15, Chauvin returned to court and pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights as part of a plea deal. Initially, the former Minneapolis police officer pleaded not guilty.
Chauvin Pleads Guilty
A state court convicted Chauvin of murdering George Floyd. Federal prosecutors charged the disgraced former cop with denying Floyd’s right to be free of excessive force by a police officer and from unreasonable seizure. A federal grand jury also indicted Chauvin for failing to provide medical care.
On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the convicted killer stood before a US federal judge. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating Floyd’s civil rights. In addition, Chauvin also pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of a 14-year-old in a separate case.
Chauvin appeared before US District Judge Paul Magnuson in an orange jumpsuit. When the judge asked if he understood he was pleading guilty to a federal crime, Chauvin acknowledged the judge. Magnuson then asked if Chauvin understood he could not appeal his case to a higher court if he pleaded guilty. Again, the disgraced cop acknowledged the judge.
Floyd Family Responds
Several members of George Floyd’s family were present during the plea hearing, including his three brothers. The family’s attorneys said change is occurring as the legal system holds police accountable for bad behavior. As conditions improve, hopefully for the better, the lawyers asked the public never to forget the cost of the progress.
The family’s attorneys reminded the public George Floyd was a father, a brother and a son, adding his death forever changed the world. Unfortunately, they said injustices would continue, and everyone must do their part to fight against them. They added everyone must ensure Floyd’s life and death didn’t pass in vain.
Floyd’s family wasn’t the only one in attendance. Chauvin’s family was also there. As he left the courtroom, the former police officer acknowledged the familiar faces with a wave.
This pleading marked the end of the legal proceedings for Chauvin. Prosecutors expect to recommend 300 months in prison, served concurrently with his murder conviction. The judge will schedule a sentencing hearing at a later date.
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