Disgraced ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin may plead guilty Wednesday to violating George Floyd’s civil rights, according to a recent court filing.
A docket entry in the federal case indicates a “change of plea hearing” suggesting that he may withdraw his current not-guilty plea during the proceeding in Minnesota.
Chauvin and three other former officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were slated to go to trial in late January on charges of aiding and abetting deprivation of rights and deprivation of rights for the May 25, 2020, death of Floyd.
There is no indication that the other officers intend to plead guilty.
Chauvin was convicted of state murder and manslaughter charges for grinding his knee into Floyd’s neck during a caught-on-video arrest that spurred national outrage.
Chauvin is accused of using the “color of the law” to deny Mr Floyd his constitutional rights to be “free from the use of unreasonable force”.
Floyd told officers “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times and gradually lost consciousness and died, as bystanders begged Chauvin to lift his knee from his neck. The former officer was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison, but he is appealing the conviction.
He and three other former officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were set to go to trial in late January on federal charges alleging they willfully violated Floyd’s rights.
The federal charges say that “this offense resulted in bodily injury to, and the death of George Floyd”. The state of Minnesota has separate cases against the officers, the Star Tribune reported.
The four officers pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in September, but a Monday court filing in Minnesota District Court indicated that Chauvin will make a court appearance on Wednesday to enter a new plea.
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office had no comment.