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Derek Chauvin pleads guilty to federal charge in George Floyd murder case

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Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of murdering George Floyd, pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating Floyd's civil rights and keeping his knee on Floyd's neck, admitting his crime for the first time, according to the Associated Press.

Chauvin admitted to "using unreasonable and excessive force" and that "he acted willfully and in callous and wanton disregard of the consequences to Mr. Floyd's life," according to the plea agreement. Chauvin also admitted to violating Floyd's constitutional right to not be deprived of his liberties without due process of law.

Chauvin was convicted last spring of manslaughter and murder on the state level and was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.

Chauvin pleaded guilty to depriving Floyd of air after he was restrained and no longer resisting arrest, as well as subjecting him to the unwarranted search and seizure. These crimes had Chauvin facing up to life in prison for a federal murder charge. However, the AP reported that he will serve between 20 and 25 years, according to the plea agreement.

It is possible that Chauvin could have the state charges reduced to 15 years through good behavior; however, the federal charge will run simultaneously with the state charges. Inmates typically serve about 85% of their sentence, the Associated Press reports. If Chauvin were to receive the 25 years prosecutors are aiming for, it would mean that he would spend just over 21 years behind bars.

In addition to the murder of George Floyd, Chauvin also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of violating the rights of a 14-year-old during an arrest in 2017. During the 2017 arrest, Chauvin admitted to holding the boy by the throat, hitting him in the back of the head with a flashlight, and holding the boy down with a knee to the back even though he was not resisting, according to CBS News.

Several members of the Floyd family were present at the sentencing of Chauvin.

"Had he been held accountable for what he did in 2017 to that minor, George Floyd would still be here. Today he had a chance to blow kisses and give air hugs to his family. We can’t do that," Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, told the Associated Press.

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