The terms of a plea deal signed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in a federal civil rights trial regarding Chauvin’s treatment of George Floyd, who died in police custody at the hands of Chauvin, were accepted by the judge in the case on Wednesday.
Chauvin admitted that he violated Floyd’s civil rights by keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck even after Floyd lost consciousness. Both sides agreed to a 20 to 25 year sentence for Chauvin, who is already serving 22 1/2 years on a state murder conviction.
Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, and his death sparked massive nationwide protests when video of Chauvin restraining him by kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes was leaked to the press.
Chauvin pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights on December 15, and for the first time admitted he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck.
His sentence for the murder conviction and this one will be served concurrently, but the federal charges are likely to keep him behind bars longer than the state ones, which typically allow 1/3 of the sentence to be served on probation.
He was facing life in prison on the federal civil rights charges when he decided to take the plea. Prosecutors said they would ask for the maximum 25 year term, and Chauvin would likely serve 17 to 21 years for the sentence with good behavior.
No sentencing date has been set for the plea.
Chavin had been appealing the murder conviction, but part of the plea deal involves him dropping the appeal.
Three other police officers also on the scene when Floyd was restrained were convicted on federal civil rights charges in February, but none have yet been sentenced.
Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng are still facing state charges for aiding and abetting Chauvin in the killing of Floyd in addition to the federal charges.
That trial begins next month, according to Fox News.
An acquittal for any of the officers may have led to new protests around the country, which settled down after the officers were arrested and charged in Floyd’s death.