George Floyd: Derek Chauvin takes responsibility for the murder of the African-American for the first time

White policeman Derek Chauvin, already convicted of the murder of George Floyd, pleaded guilty Wednesday, December 15, to “violation of the constitutional rights” of the black forty-something, during an appearance in federal court. So far, the 45-year-old former agent had never admitted any wrongdoing.

The prosecution believes that Mr. Chauvin had deprived Mr. Floyd of his rights by resting his knee on his neck while he was handcuffed and did not resist.

George Floyd’s arrest and death, filmed by a passerby on a cell phone, sparked large-scale protests across the United States to demand an end to racial inequality and police abuse to black people.

Double chases

Mr. Chauvin was convicted of murder by the courts of Minnesota and sentenced to twenty-two and a half years in prison after an extraordinary trial. He appealed against this conviction. In parallel, the federal justice had opened its own lawsuits by indicting him, as well as his three former colleagues, for “violation of the constitutional rights” of Mr. Floyd.

These “double” lawsuits are permitted in the United States, but relatively rare. They reflect the importance of this file.

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In this component, the police officer pleaded not guilty in September, but changed his strategy on Wednesday as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors that will prevent him from a new trial. No date has yet been set for his sentence. Federal prosecutors have called for twenty-five years in prison to be served concurrently with the sentence handed down in state courts.

The trial of the other three police officers will open in March

The possibility that he would plead guilty in this section had been raised in the spring. At the time, at the end of his trial, he fueled speculation by telling the Floyd family: “There will be new information in the future, which I hope will be interesting and which will give you peace of mind. ”

On Wednesday, the latter was delighted with his change of attitude. “As our country continues to grapple with the demons of the past and present, the historic days give us hope. And today is one of those days ”their lawyer Ben Crump said in a statement. “It is a victory for the interests of justice, but we will never forget its cost”, he added. “I am happy that more and more people are ready to discuss what is happening in America [mais] I cry all the time ”, added his brother, Philonise Floyd, out of court. “George will never be returned to us.” “

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The trial of the three other police officers who participated in the arrest of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 is due to open in March in a court in the state of Minnesota. The impact of this turnaround on the case of his three co-defendants remains uncertain at this stage.

Le Monde with AP and AFP

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George Floyd: Derek Chauvin takes responsibility for the murder of the African-American for the first time