Derek Chauvin will be sentenced Thursday on federal civil rights charges connected to the 2020 murder of George Floyd and a previous excessive force case involving a Minneapolis teenager.
Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson on Tuesday scheduled sentencing for the ex-Minneapolis police officer for 2 p.m. at the St. Paul federal courthouse.
Federal prosecutors are seeking a 25-year sentence for Chauvin, who pleaded guilty last year to two counts of civil rights violations stemming from the separate cases. His attorney, Eric Nelson, is asking Magnuson to sentence the 46-year-old Chauvin to 20 years, the lower end of the range both parties settled upon in Chauvin's plea agreement. The federal sentence imposed this week will likely be served concurrently with the 22½-year sentence Chauvin is serving for his state jury murder conviction, also from last year.
Three of Chauvin's former colleagues — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — were convicted in February in U.S. District Court of depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights by failing to stop Chauvin from using excessive force. Lane pleaded guilty to state charges of aiding and abetting manslaughter in May, avoiding a trial. The state trial for Kueng and Thao, on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter, is set for October.
Magnuson has not scheduled sentencing dates for the other former officers.
Federal prosecutors want a longer federal sentence for Chauvin because his state charges did not address a 2017 incident involving a then-14-year-old boy Chauvin struck in the head and pinned under his knee in a similar fashion to the restraint that led to Floyd's death three years later. John Pope and 39-year-old Zoya Code have since filed separate federal civil rights lawsuits against Chauvin and the Minneapolis Police Department over Chauvin's use of the dangerous neck restraint.
"The charges against the defendant arose out of two separate incidents in which he held his knee on the necks of handcuffed and unresisting citizens for more than nine minutes each, even after they cried out in pain and said that they could not breathe, and, in Mr. Floyd's case, even after he became unresponsive and lost a pulse," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney LeeAnn Bell and Special Litigation Counsel Samantha Trepel in their own arguments to Magnuson last month.
A federal grand jury indicted Chauvin on two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, weeks after his state jury conviction last year. He pleaded guilty to the federal charges in December.
In his memo filed in federal court last month that urged a 20-year sentence, Nelson cited Chauvin's "acceptance of his wrongdoing, the fact that he has already been punished by one jurisdiction for the offenses alleged here, and his remorse for the harm that has flowed from his actions."