Derek Chauvin Appears Likely to Plead Guilty to Federal Crimes

MINNEAPOLIS — A federal court on Monday set a change of plea hearing for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of murdering George Floyd, signaling that he intended to plead guilty this week to charges that he deprived Mr. Floyd of his civil rights.

Mr. Chauvin, who recently began serving a prison sentence of more than 22 years for killing Mr. Floyd in May 2020, has been facing charges that by kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for nine and a half minutes during an arrest, he had also violated his constitutional rights.

The killing of Mr. Floyd, who was Black, by Mr. Chauvin, a white officer, led to the largest protest movement in a generation. The federal indictment was a rare instance of the Justice Department pursuing a criminal case against a police officer, particularly following a conviction on state crimes.

The change of plea hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning in a federal courthouse in St. Paul, Minn. Mr. Chauvin had initially pleaded not guilty. His lawyer did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

When a judge sentenced Mr. Chauvin on the state murder charge in June, Mr. Chauvin appeared to refer to the federal charges against him — and the possibility of a plea agreement — in brief comments to Mr. Floyd’s family.

“Due to some additional legal matters at hand, I’m not able to give a full formal statement at this time,” Mr. Chauvin said in court. “But, very briefly, I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family.”

“There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest,” he added, “and I hope things will give you some peace of mind.”

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