The judge presiding over former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s federal civil rights case in the killing of George Floyd said on Wednesday that he has accepted Chauvin’s plea agreement and will sentence him to 20 to 25 years in prison, the Star Tribune reports.
Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to violating Floyd’s civil rights. Chauvin faced up to life in prison on the federal count, but prosecutors said they would seek 25 years after he signed the plea deal.
Credit for good time in the federal system could make him eligible for release after 17 years to 21 years and three months in prison, according to The Star Tribune.
The judge had put off accepting Chauvin’s plea agreement while a preliminary presentence investigation report was done. Based on the plea agreement filed, the federal sentence would be served concurrently with the 22.5-year sentence tied to his murder conviction at the state level. The judge didn’t set a date for the sentencing.
Retired police Sergeant Betsy Brantner Smith, who is a spokesperson for the National Police Association, told DailyMail.com that federal prison would likely be a safer environment for Chauvin.
Brantner Smith noted that ex-cops convicted of crimes often face threats from other inmates behind bars, she added that Chauvin is “undoubtedly the most famous former police officer in prison.”
“Federal prisons are generally nicer and safer than state prisons, so that could have been part of the thought process,” she said of Chauvin’s plea deal.
Brantner Smith said that Chauvin “does not represent American law enforcement” and that she hoped the resolution of the case would represent a turning point in community relations with police.
“Now we can get on with having Derek Chauvin pay his debt to society,” she said. “From the standpoint of American law enforcement, we are certainly ready to move forward and do what we do best which is protect the public.”
Attorneys for Floyd’s family did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com on Wednesday, but they have previously said the family wants Chauvin to serve as much of his prison sentence as possible.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BLACK ENTERPRISE