By Bruce C.T. Wright, NewsOne
Derek Chauvin and his legal team have reportedly been negotiating a plea deal with the federal government that could provide some context to the cryptic message the convicted murderer gave George Floyd‘s family in court during his sentencing last week. Minnesota CBS reported that the disgraced former Minneapolis cop who used his knee to apply deadly pressure to Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes last year was nearing finalizing the deal with federal prosecutors poised to bring a government case against Chauvin, who on Friday was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison under state law. According to Minnesota CBS, the terms of Chauvin’s reported plea deal would allow him to serve his federal sentence concurrently with his 270-month state sentence from Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill. Chauvin could be given “a 20- to 25-year [federal] sentence, which he would serve at the same time as the state sentence, and that he would serve his time in federal not state prison,” Minnesota CBS reported. The federal case accuses Chauvin of violating the civil rights of not just Floyd but also a Black 14-year-old boy who was violently restrained by the throat while being assaulted in the head with a flashlight in 2017. Chauvin, 45, who decided against testifying during his murder trial, finally broke his silence and addressed the court during his sentencing with a cryptic message to Floyd’s family. Taking off his mask, Chauvin — who in April was found guilty and unanimously convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges — suggested he was being prevented from sharing what he really wanted to say. “At the time, due to some additional legal matters at hand, I’m not able to give a full-formed statement at this time,” Chauvin began in an apparent attempt to show his purported remorse for brutally and callously killing a handcuffed man suspected of the nonviolent crime of using a counterfeit $20 bill. “Briefly though,” Chauvin continued. “I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family,” he said while mechanically turning his head in their direction in the courtroom. “There’s gonna be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope things will give you some peace of mind,” he added before finishing with a simple, “Thank you.” Absent from Chauvin’s words was any semblance of an apology. The alleged plea deal was reported hours after the Minneapolis Police Department took its latest steps to address the way officers are trained. A new report from the city released Monday found that there was limited to no accountability or oversight for officers who had recently been trained, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. On the same day, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced he was banning officers from taking part in any “warrior-style” training — which “teaches officers to adopt a mind-set that threats are ever present in their daily work” — whether on-duty or not. In the meantime, Chauvin was expected to stay locked up at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Oak Park Heights, where he has been in protective custody segregated from the state prison’s general population. Chauvin will be there “for the time being,” the Minnesota Department of Corrections told Insider on Monday.