Former Police Officer Derek Chauvin Pleads Guilty To Violating George Floyd’s Civil Rights

(Photo by Minnesota Department of Corrections via Getty Images)

Madeline Dovi Contributor
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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty to charges for civil rights violations in the death of George Floyd, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

In his guilty plea, Chauvin admitted he had violated the constitutional rights of Mr. Floyd to be free from unreasonable and excessive force from a police officer, the NYT reported. His plea is likely to add about 2 years to the 22-year sentence already being served for Floyd’s murder. (RELATED: Chauvin Appears In Federal Court For Additional Civil Rights Charges)

When asked by the judge how he wanted to plead, Chauvin responded, “At this time, guilty, your honor,” the NYT reported.

Federal charges brought against an officer require the officer to have violated a person’s rights under pretense of authority, known as “color of law,” according to legal directory NOLO. It also could apply to an officer knowingly depriving a person of their civil and constitutional rights without the law’s “willful” standard, which essentially means having good reason for violating their rights.

Video footage captured Chauvin kneeling on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd lay face down in the street. Floyd died May 25, 2020, shortly after being brought to the hospital. Chauvin was fired by the Minneapolis Police Department one day later.

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter April 20 after a 10-hour jury deliberation.

The three officers present with Chauvin at the time of Floyd’s death — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao— are also charged with violating civil rights while under government authority, according to the NYT. Their case is expected to face trial in January.

Chauvin won’t have to attend the January trial. If convicted of the charges, he will likely face more time in federal prison, the NYT reported.

Chauvin is currently serving his sentence in solitary confinement at Oak Park Heights, Minnesota’s only maximum-security prison.