Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is likely to plead guilty during his next court hearing. Chauvin was convicted of state murder charges in April for killing George Floyd, an incident that created racial outrage across America.
Derek Chauvin will plea guilty in George Floyd’s incident
On Wednesday, Derek Chauvin will appear in a federal rights court in a change of plea hearing. In September, he pleaded not guilty, for which he has to reappear in court.
The court accused Chauvin of keeping George Floyd in “unreasonable seizure,” an allegation that includes the right of a person to be free from unreasonable use of force by a police officer.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Court notice indicates Derek Chauvin expected to plead guilty to federal civil rights charges in George Floyd's death.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 13, 2021
In April, the court found out Chauvin committed second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder, convictions which sentenced him to 22.5 years in prison.
According to Minnesota law, the former officer would have to serve almost 15 years in jail before being eligible for a supervised release for the remaining punishment.
The court spokesman told CNN that Chauvin would like to change his plea statement, but Chauvin’s attorney did not issue any statement in this regard.
On May 25, 2020, a video of Derek Chauvin restraining the movement of George Floyd went viral, with him kneeling down on the subdued black man for nine and a half minutes.
Officers other than Chauvin will get smaller punishments
Two other former police officers, namely Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, also failed to stop Chauvin from using unreasonable force; thus, they were also charged. In addition to that, all three police officers are also charged for not providing Floyd with the necessary medical treatment.
According to the court indictment against Thou and Kueng, both of them saw George Floyd lying flat and in need of medical care; they intentionally ignored the situation, actions which led to Floyd’s death.
Both the officers requested the court to separate their trials from Chauvin. However, the court did not entertain the request. One of the local defense attorneys, Mike Brandt, who was not involved in the case, asserted separating the cases could have reduced inflammatory evidence against them.
According to the latest information, both of them have no plans to plead guilty soon. One of the professors at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Mark Osler, argued federal punishment to George Floyd would be given at the same time as that of the state’s punishment.
However, he noted federal imprisonment could span for a lifetime, compared to the 22 years of state imprisonment.
Chauvin and three other former officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were set to go to trial in late January on those charges. https://t.co/nVzImj2rsf
— The Daily Item (@dailyitem) December 13, 2021
Likewise, Osler mentioned Chauvin could reduce his punishment if he claimed responsibility for what happened. He can also decide, according to Osler, to serve a jail term in the federal system, which will reduce his punishment.
However, Osler argued the federal system has no parole. Osler was not surprised by the fact other officers are not ready to plead guilty, as they are likely to get a smaller punishment than Chauvin.