Former Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin, who was just sentenced to 22 years for the murder of George Floyd, is “closing in” on a plea deal with federal prosecutors — a deal which could include a public explanation of what happened during Floyd’s arrest last year.
The Department of Justice filed charges against Chauvin and the three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao — on the scene during Floyd’s arrest back in early May. Chauvin is charged with using excessive force and violating Floyd’s civil rights during Floyd’s arrest. Lane, Keung, and Thao are charged with failing to intervene to stop a federal crime in progress as well as failing to provide medical care to the dying Floyd.
“A second federal indictment also charges Chauvin with deprivation of civil rights under color of law for a 2017 incident involving a 14-year-old boy, whom Chauvin allegedly struck in the head with a flashlight and pinned to the ground with a knee on his neck and back during an arrest,” according to CBS News.
Chauvin was sentenced, last week, to 22.5 years in prison on murder and manslaughter charges related to Floyd’s death. He made his first appearance in Federal court on June 1st, where he “acknowledged that he understood his rights and the charges against him, and said he wished to continue to be represented by his attorney.”
On Tuesday, local Minneapolis media reported that Chauvin and his attorney are close to a plea deal with federal prosecutors, which would mean that Chauvin would not face a second public trial.
“Multiple sources tell WCCO that federal prosecutors are in talks with former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin about a possible plea deal,” the outlet reported. “They say Chauvin is close to reaching a deal, and that is what he was likely referring to when he made a cryptic comment to the family of George Floyd during his sentencing last week.”
The “cryptic comment,” refers to Chauvin’s personal statement, in which he claimed that “there’s gonna be some other information in the future that will be of interest and I hope these will give you some peace of mind.”
The statement suggests that Chauvin could be required to provide some explanation of his actions the day he arrested Floyd for allegedly passing a counterfeit bill to a clerk at the Cup Foods grocery store in downtown Minneapolis. Sources reportedly told WCCO that “Chauvin was likely referring to a plea deal in the federal case against him. As part of a possible plea deal, Chauvin would have to publicly explain what he did to Floyd and why.”
Chauvin could serve as many as 20-25 years on the federal charges, though he would serve both his current sentence and his federal sentence at the same time.
Local media cautioned that federal plea deals can “fall apart at the 11th hour.” The other three officers are set to go to trial over their alleged involvement in Floyd’s death in late August.