Derek Chauvin sentenced to federal prison for violating George Floyd's civil rights

Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to a federal charge of violating George Floyd’s civil rights, which stemmed from his arrest of Floyd on May 25, 2020. 

Derek Chauvin sentenced to federal prison for violating George Floyd's civil rights
Court TV via AP, Pool, File
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Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of killing George Floyd in the summer of 2020, was sentenced on Thursday to 21 years in federal prison. 

Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to a federal charge of violating George Floyd’s civil rights, which stemmed from his arrest of Floyd on May 25, 2020. 

Floyd was placed under arrest on suspicion of using counterfeit money to pay for goods and services at a Minneapolis convenience store. During his arrest, Chauvin planted his knee on Floyd’s back, which prosecutors say led to Floyd’s death. 

Last April, Chauvin was found guilty of three criminal charges, including second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder. He was sentenced to 22 and a half years after the conviction. 

Chauvin’s sentence on Thursday for violating Floyd’s civil rights will run concurrently with his state convictions. 

Fox News reports that Chauvin could have faced a life sentence in prison had he not accepted a federal plea agreement on the civil rights charges against him. As part of his plea agreement on the federal civil rights charges, Chauvin admits he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck which resulted in his death, stating that he “wilfully deprived Floyd his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, including unreasonable force by a police officer.” 

"My brother was murdered in broad daylight with a knee to his neck for nine minutes," Philonese Floyd, George Floyd's brother, said at the sentencing. “The (Floyd) family and I have been given a life sentence, we will never get George back." 

George Floyd’s death sparked a firestorm of outrage throughout the United States, where tens of thousands of protesters took the streets in mostly peaceful protests and numerous riots which led to the death of upwards of 30 people and over a billion dollars in property damage. 

Former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Keung, and Thomas Lane, who were present at the scene of Floyd’s death, were also convicted of federal civil rights charges this past February.

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