For the first time, the policeman who killed George Floyd takes some responsibility

White policeman Derek Chauvin, convicted of the murder of George Floyd, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to violating the constitutional rights of the black forty-something, admitting for the first time some responsibility in this drama that has shaken America and the world.

In an orange inmate jumpsuit, the 45-year-old former agent appeared briefly before a federal judge in St. Paul, in the northern United States, to formalize a guilty plea deal described as “historic” by the family. by George Floyd.

He did not speak, except to acquiesce to the magistrate’s questions.

On May 25, 2020, this long-career Minneapolis police officer knelt on the African-American’s neck for nearly ten minutes, indifferent to the interventions of distraught passers-by and the groans of George Floyd.

The scene, filmed and uploaded, sparked outrage and sparked massive protests against racism and police violence across the United States and beyond.

In a well-attended lawsuit in Minnesota last spring, his lawyer argued that George Floyd had died of an overdose, combined with health problems, and assured that Derek Chauvin had made justified use of strength.

He had not convinced the jurors and the former police officer had been convicted of murder and sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison. He appealed the verdict.

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 George Floyd.

These “double” prosecutions are permitted in the United States but relatively rare, and reflect the importance of this case which has reopened a heated debate on the racist past of the United States.

” Victoire “

In the federal component, the police officer pleaded not guilty in September, but he changed his strategy on Wednesday. By pleading guilty, he avoids a new trial which was to be held in January and while he faces life imprisonment.

No date has yet been set for the sentencing. Federal prosecutors have demanded 25 years in prison at the same time as the sentence handed down in state courts.

The impact of this turnaround on the case of his three co-defendants remains uncertain at this stage.

The possibility that he would plead guilty in this section had been raised last spring.

At the end of his trial, he had 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.”

She 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”, but “I cry all the time”, added Philonese Floyd, her brother, at the exit of the court: “we do not will never give us back George ”.

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