Months after Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd, the former police officer on Monday pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation, likely extending the time he’ll spend behind bars by two and a half years.
Chauvin admitted that he had violated Floyd’s constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable seizures. Federal prosecutors will ask a judge to sentence Chauvin to 25 years in federal prison, to be served concurrently with his murder sentence. That means that even if Chauvin were to successfully appeal his murder conviction, he would still be on the hook for civil rights violations.
Chauvin also pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation for an unrelated 2017 case in which he hit a then-14-year-old boy in the head with a flashlight and knelt on his neck. Chauvin had pleaded not guilty to that case in September.
Chauvin may serve the remainder of his sentence in federal rather than state prison, which is typically safer. Legal experts, according to the New York Times, said the federal case could have resulted in a life sentence.
Floyd’s brother Philonise and the victim in the 2017 incident were both in the courtroom today. After the hearing, Philonese reportedly said, “It’s a good day for justice.”