Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Wednesday pleaded guilty to federal charges that he abused his position of power to violate the civil rights of George Floyd.
A grand jury indicted Chauvin earlier this year on charges of using the "color of the law" to deprive Floyd of his constitutional rights to be "free from the use of unreasonable force" during an incident in which Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes until he could not breathe.
Chauvin pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in September.
FORMER OFFICERS CHARGED IN GEORGE FLOYD'S DEATH PETITION JUDGE FOR TRIAL SEPARATE FROM CHAUVIN
Chauvin's arrest on state charges followed three days of protests across Minneapolis, which became the catalyst for a larger racial awakening in the United States and around the world.
Chauvin was convicted in April on state murder and manslaughter charges. He was sentenced to 22 1/2 years behind bars.
Chauvin and three other officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, were set to go to trial on federal charges in January.
Lane, who held Floyd's legs down, Kueng, who knelt on Floyd's back, and Thao, who tried to block bystanders, had previously been scheduled to go to trial on state charges in August, but a judge delayed their trial so the federal case against them could go first.
Court documents filed Monday, which signaled Chauvin changing his not guilty plea to guilty, did not indicate how Lane, Kueng, or Thao will plead.
Chauvin has also been charged federally with violating the rights of a 14-year-old boy during an arrest in September 2017. In that case, he's accused of holding the teenager by the neck and hitting him twice with a flashlight. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill handed down Chauvin's sentencing in the state trial in April following four victim impact statements from Floyd's friends and family, including his 7-year-old daughter, Gianna, his nephew Brandon Williams, who said his family is "forever broken," and Floyd's brother Terrence.
Chauvin's mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, spoke on his behalf, saying she will always support her son, believes in his "innocence," and that "the public will never know the loving and caring man he is, but his family does."
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Chauvin spoke briefly during his sentencing hearing. He gave his condolences to the Floyd family but added, "There's going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest. And I hope things will give you some peace of mind."