The former Minneapolis officer showed up to a federal courtroom in St. Paul, Minnesota on Wednesday (Dec. 15) and pleaded guilty to two counts related to the death of Floyd. He admitted to depriving the Black man’s right to be free from “unreasonable seizure” and changed his not guilty plea on charges he and former officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane deprived Floyd’s rights under color of law when they failed to render him with medical assistance.
The tragic incident drew national concern in May 2020 after a video of Chauvin suffocating Floyd to death made its way around the internet. In the disturbing footage, the former cop placed his knee on the victim’s neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring his pleas to breathe. He has since been convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death, a verdict which came along with his 15-year prison sentence, and seven and a half years on supervised release.
The trial brought attention to Chauvin’s policing, specifically his role in a 2017 arrest of a 14-year-old in Minneapolis. Similarly, the ex-cop assaulted the teen, holding him by the throat, hitting his head with a flashlight and placing his knee on the teen’s neck and back despite his compliance. He pleaded guilty to violating the teen’s rights during the court hearing on Wednesday.