Until then, the 45-year-old former police officer had never admitted any wrong in the death of this African American who shocked the whole world.
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Police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted of the murder of George Floyd on April 20, pleaded guilty on Wednesday (December 15th) to “violating the victim’s constitutional rights” during a federal court appearance, local media reported. The 45-year-old former agent, who knelt on the African-American’s neck for nearly ten minutes in May 2020, had so far never admitted any wrong in the death which shocked the whole world.
Eight months ago, Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder by the Minnesota justice and sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison after an extraordinary trial. He appealed against this conviction. In parallel, the federal justice had opened its own lawsuits by indicting him, as well as his three former colleagues, for “violation of the constitutional rights” of George Floyd.
These double prosecutions are authorized in the United States but relatively rare, and reflect the importance of this file at the heart of giant demonstrations against racism and police violence across the United States. In this component, the police officer pleaded not guilty in September but changed his strategy Wednesday as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors that will prevent him from a new trial.
No date has yet been set for the sentencing. Federal prosecutors have demanded 25 years in prison at the same time as the sentence handed down in state courts.