Derek Chauvin (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)
Derek Chauvin (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

A federal judge in Minneapolis accepted a plea deal Wednesday in the case of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer convicted of killing George Floyd.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said he plans to sentence Chauvin to 20 to 25 years in prison for violating Floyd’s civil rights.

Chauvin is still appealing his state murder conviction. On that charge, a state judge sentenced him to 22½ years.

His federal sentence would run concurrently with the state’s, the judge ruled.

In entering the guilty plea on the federal charge, Chauvin admitted he violated Floyd’s constitutional rights of being free from unreasonable seizures during an arrest attempt on Memorial Day 2020. Chauvin knelt on a handcuffed Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes while Floyd was face down on the pavement, even as he told the officer he couldn’t breathe.

Three other former Minneapolis officers — Thomas Lane, Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao — currently are awaiting sentencing after a federal jury convicted them in January of violating Floyd’s civil rights.

Chauvin’s federal plea deal increases the likelihood of him spending more time in prison than he faced under his state sentence.

State prisoners in Minnesota typically serve one-third of their sentence on parole, which for him would mean 15 years in prison.

Chauvin waives his right to contest his federal conviction once Magnuson formally accepts the plea agreement.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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