Derek Chauvin, the white former Minneapolis cop convicted of killing African-American George Floyd, pled guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights on Wednesday, marking his first admission of criminal fault in the case.
Chauvin pleaded guilty to federal charges of use of excessive force at a courthouse in St. Paul, Minnesota, for keeping his knee to Floyd’s neck for about 10 minutes on May 25, 2020, until Floyd died.
Floyd’s death, which was captured on video by a bystander on a cellphone, sparked months of Black Lives Matter protests around the country in response to police brutality against African-Americans.
In June, Chauvin was found guilty of murder in a state trial and sentenced to 22 and a half years in jail.
He has not acknowledged guilt in the murder allegations, and his conviction is being appealed.
In the federal rights lawsuit, Chauvin had initially pled not guilty.
According to local WCCO TV, the court told him that if he didn’t modify his plea to guilty, he may face life in jail.
After reversing his plea, federal prosecutors said Chauvin may face a term of 20 to 25 years in prison, to be served simultaneously with and beyond his murder sentence.
Regardless of the outcome of his murder charge appeal, the 45-year-old former Minneapolis cop will spend years in prison.