After he was convicted in April on state murder charges for killing George Floyd, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has now pleaded in federal court to violating his civil rights, CNN reported. Additionally, Chauvin admitted to committing a similar crime in 2017 when he kneeled on the neck of a 14-year-old boy and nearly killed him.
Prosecutors are requesting for the former officer to be sentenced to 300 months in prison, or 25 years. The punishment would be served concurrently with his nearly 22-year sentence on state murder charges.
According to the Associated Press, members of Floyd’s family were present at the change of plea hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota. The victim involved in the brutal 2017 arrest was also present at the hearing.
“It’s a good day for justice,” Floyd’s brother Philonise said, according to a pool reporter.
Several family members also came to support Chauvin, who he waved and smiled at as he entered and left the courtroom.
To bring federal charges against police, prosecutors must prove that it was more than an accident, bad judgment or simple negligence on the officer’s part. Prosecutors are required to prove that the officer knew what he was doing and committed the crime anyway.