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Chauvin pleads guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights in federal court

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
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Six months after being convicted of the murder of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to civil rights charges related to Floyd’s death.

Chauvin also pleaded guilty in a separate federal case in which he was accused of depriving the rights of a 14-year-old in Minneapolis in 2017, a case that was eerily similar to George Floyd’s. Chauvin held the teen by the throat and struck him multiple times in the head with a flashlight, according to court documents.

Chauvin is currently in prison serving a 22 ½ year sentence. He initially pleaded not guilty to the civil rights charges, but appeared in court Wednesday to change his plea.

Chauvin changes plea

“Federal prosecutors are recommending a sentence of up to 25 years” for the civil rights violations, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison called Chauvin’s change in plea “important and historic.”

“Nobody is above the law, and nobody is beneath it,” Ellison said in a statement sent to NPR. “While Floyd’s life is lost to his family and all of us, I hope Chauvin’s change of plea will mark a new beginning for equal justice under the law, respectful treatment for every person in our society, and greater trust in our system of justice.”

The three remaining officers that were involved in the murder of Floyd still face state and federal charges. J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao all pleaded not guilty to state and federal charges. Their state trial will begin in March of 2022.

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