Ex-cop Derek Chauvin was convicted earlier this year on charges related to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Now, he has pleaded guilty to separate federal civil rights charges.
Terms of Chauvin’s plea deal
According to Fox News, Chauvin faces more than 22 years behind bars for his conviction in state court of murder and manslaughter. He was arrested after video footage revealed him kneeling on Floyd, who was on the ground and in handcuffs, as the suspect complained that he could not breathe.
More prison time might be coming in connection with his guilty plea this week.
Along with three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao — who were involved in the Floyd incident, Chauvin was indicted on Department of Justice charges of civil rights violations.
As part of Chauvin’s deal with prosecutors, he also pleaded guilty to a separate 2017 incident involving a 14-year-old boy. In that case, he was accused of holding the boy by the throat, hitting him in the head with a flashlight, and kneeling on his back as part of an arrest.
Furthermore, he waived his right to an appeal by accepting the terms of the plea agreement.
Chauvin faces 25 years behind bars
Prosecutors in the federal case are seeking a 25-year prison sentence. If granted, it would run concurrently with Chavin’s existing state-level sentence.
Had the former police officer gone to trial in the civil rights case, he could have faced life behind bars.
His plea deal also included a few other important caveats, including a prohibition on ever working in law enforcement again. He will also be required to pay restitution.
As for the fate of the other three officers, there is no indication of how their respective prosecutions will play out. Some insiders argue that Chauvin’s plea deal could benefit them in several ways — particularly if Chauvin takes responsibility as the officer who called the shots on the day of the Floyd arrest.
Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, was in the courtroom during Chauvin’s latest appearance. In response to the guilty plea, he reportedly turned to another man and declared: “It’s a good day for justice.”