Derek Chauvin faces sentencing on federal charges in George Floyd killing

Derek Chauvin pleading guilty in December to violating George Floyd's rights

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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will be sentenced this week for federal civil rights violations in the killing of George Floyd.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson has set Chauvin's sentencing hearing for 2 p.m. Thursday in St. Paul.

Derek Chauvin mugshot

Derek Chauvin mugshot (Minnesota Department of Corrections)

Chauvin's plea agreement calls for a sentence of 20 to 25 years in prison. Federal prosecutors last month asked for 25 years, on the high end of that range, saying his actions were cold-blooded and needless.

The defense asked for 20 years, saying Chauvin accepts responsibility and is remorseful for what he did, and has already gotten a long sentence from another court for his murder conviction.

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Chauvin, who is White, pleaded guilty in December to violating Floyd's rights, admitting for the first time that he kept his knee on Floyd's neck — even as the Black man said he couldn't breathe and after he became unresponsive — resulting in Floyd's death. Chauvin admitted he willfully deprived Floyd of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, including unreasonable force by a police officer, during the May 2020 arrest.

FILE: The family of Daunte Wright gathers on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death, May 25, 2021, in Minneapolis. 

FILE: The family of Daunte Wright gathers on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death, May 25, 2021, in Minneapolis.  (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa, File)

Chauvin was also convicted in a separate case on state charges of murder and manslaughter and is already serving a 22 1/2-year state sentence. The plea agreement calls for Chauvin to serve the federal sentence at the same time as the state sentence, and to serve it in federal prison. The deal means he's expected to serve more time behind bars than he would have faced on the state sentence alone.

Three other former Minneapolis police officers — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Keung, and Thomas Lane — were convicted in February of federal civil rights charges in Floyd's death. Magnuson has not set sentencing dates for them.

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Floyd's killing sparked protests nationwide and around the world in what many described as a reckoning over racial injustice and police brutality.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.