Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is expected to plead guilty to federal charges that he abused his position of power to violate the civil rights of George Floyd, according to new court documents filed Monday.
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's initial arrest followed three days of protests across Minneapolis that eventually spread coast to coast.
A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday for Chauvin to change his current not guilty plea to guilty.
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Chauvin was convicted earlier this year on state murder and manslaughter charges. He was sentenced to 22 1/2 years behind bars.
Chauvin and three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao — were set to go to trial on federal charges late next month.
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 decided to delay their trial so the federal case against them could go first.
The court documents filed Monday 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, that she 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 stated 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. Thank you."