MINNEAPOLIS – Federal prosecutors asked a judge Wednesday to sentence a former Minneapolis officer to 25 years in prison for violating George Floyd’s rights, saying Derek Chauvin’s actions were cold-blooded and needless as he knelt on a black man’s neck while Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe .
Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to violating Floyd’s rights, admitting for the first time that he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck – even after he became unresponsive – which led to Floyd’s death. Chauvin, who is white, admitted that he intentionally denied Floyd his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, including unreasonable force by a police officer, during his May 2020 arrest.
Floyd’s killing sparked instant protests in Minneapolis that spread across the United States and beyond in an account of police brutality and discrimination against people of color.
As part of the plea agreement, Chauvin also pleaded guilty to violating the rights of a 14-year-old black boy he had tied up in an unrelated case in 2017.
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson agreed to a plea deal, in which both sides agreed Chauvin must face 20 to 25 years, as prosecutors seek the maximum range.
In a court filing on Wednesday, prosecutors reiterated their request for a 25-year prison term, saying it would reflect the grave nature of the crime, provide fair punishment and deter other officers from “imposing punishment” on others. They also said that Chauvin’s history should be taken into account, noting that he “used his law enforcement career to engage in abusive behavior” more than once.
No date has been set for the federal ruling.
Chauvin has also been convicted of premeditated murder and premeditated murder and is already serving a 22 1/2-year prison sentence. He will serve the federal sentence at the same time as the state sentence.
Magnuson also presided over the trial of three other former officers convicted on federal civil rights charges related to Floyd’s death. Tu Thao, Thomas Lin, and Jie remain.
Lin also pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting manslaughter, while Thao and Koenig face a trial in October on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter.