Derek Chauvin pleads guilty to federal charges for violating George Floyd’s civil rights

Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to a little over 20 years in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to federal charges for violating George Floyd’s civil rights.

Chauvin was previously sentenced to 22 and a half years on state murder and manslaughter charges for the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. Chauvin will be serving his new sentence concurrently with his state sentence.

According to NBC News, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson called Chauvin’s treatment of Floyd “offensive” and “unconscionable.” He said before handing down the sentence, “I really don’t know why you did what you did, but kneeling on someone until they expire is simply wrong, and for that you will be punished.”

Magnuson sentenced Chauvin to 21 years in prison, with credit for the time he has already served. This brings Chauvin’s sentence to 20 years and five months.

Chauvin said to Magnuson before his sentence was announced that he recognized “the difficult and unpleasant job of the court in this case.” He described the moment as a “very politically charged environment.”

Chauvin was first sentenced in June 2021 and later faced trial on federal charges for violating Floyd’s civil rights. He pleaded guilty in December to the new charges, where he admitted to willfully depriving Floyd his right to be free from unreasonable seizure by kneeling on his neck for over 9 minutes, leading to his death.

Chauvin’s sentence also includes a separate incident in which he pleaded guilty to violating the rights of 14-year-old John Pope Jr. in a 2017 arrest. He admitted to hitting Pope multiple times in the head with a flashlight, resulting in injury, and to holding the handcuffed child face-down for about 15 minutes with his knee on Pope’s neck, shoulders and upper back.



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