Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is expected to plead guilty to violating George Floyd's civil rights. Chauvin has already been convicted of state murder and manslaughter charges for pinning his knee against Floyd's neck as the latter had struggled to breathe during an arrest. He was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of Floyd, one of the longest a former police officer has ever received for the use of deadly force.
The federal docket entry shows a hearing has been scheduled for Chauvin to change his current not guilty plea in the case, an indication Chauvin would change his plea to guilty.
Chauvin, along with three other former Minneapolis police officers, had pleaded not guilty in September, after being indicted by a grand jury on separate federal charges for violating Floyd's civil rights by using excessive force during arrest.
The three other police officers are set to go on trial in state court next year on criminal charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin had held his knee on or around the neck of a handcuffed Floyd for more than nine minutes as two of the other cops - Kueng and Lane, helped restrain the 46-year-old Floyd as he was on the ground. Kueng knelt on Floyd's back and Lane held down Floyd's legs while the fourth officer, Thao, held back bystanders and kept them from intervening.
Floyd was heard saying that he "can't breathe" shortly before becoming unresponsive as bystanders urged the officer to get off the man. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead.
While all four officers were charged broadly with depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority, Chauvin was specifically charged with Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer. Also, for failing to provide medical attention.
Floyd's arrest and death had set off protests nationwide and led to widespread calls for reform of police departments and mistreatment of Black people.