Xiao Wan also pleaded guilty in another federal case in which he was accused of depriving a 14-year-old boy of his rights in Minneapolis in 2017 because he was allegedly kneeling on a handcuffed person. , The back and neck of a teenager who did not resist.
As part of the plea agreement, Xiao Wan will face 20 to 25 years in prison. The prosecutor demanded that he be sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment, serving concurrently with the current 22 and a half years of imprisonment of 22 and a half years, on the charge of state murder.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement: “Defendant Xiao Wan has pleaded guilty to two violations of federal civil rights, one of which resulted in the unfortunate death of George Floyd.” There is nothing to remedy the damage caused by such behavior, but the Department of Justice is committed to holding accountable violators of the Constitution and safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans.”
The guilty plea came after the former police officer pressed his knees on Freud’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 26 seconds, and the 46-year-old black man was in handcuffs, lying prone on the street, and told Qiao Wen breathlessly. And other officers, “I can’t breathe.” Freud’s death on May 25, 2020 triggered a nationwide protest against police brutality and racial injustice.
But on Wednesday, Xiao Wan appeared in a federal court in St. Paul, Minnesota in an orange jumpsuit and pleaded guilty. Because the federal court did not allow the use of cameras, no video was recorded at the hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Slaughter asked Xiaowan to confirm the details contained in the plea agreement, especially whether Xiaowan still pressed Freud to the ground even after Freud became unresponsive.
“Correct,” Xiao Wan said to every question raised by the prosecutor.
U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnussen has not yet set a date for Xiaowan’s sentence.
Members of the Freud family all appeared in the court, and the unidentified teenager Xiao Wan also admitted to attacking the court in 2017. According to a pool reporter in the courtroom, Freud’s brother Felonis Freud turned to the teenager after the hearing and said, “Today is a good day for justice.”
The guilty plea is the first time that Shavin publicly admitted his role in Freud’s death. He previously pleaded not guilty to the state murder charge and exercised his right not to testify at trial.
Philonese Floyd told CNN in a speech outside the court that the importance of Chauvin’s plea.
“For me, this is important because a blue wall has collapsed, and it will never collapse,” he said. “Knowing that he will be responsible for what is happening makes me feel better.”
Other family members said they believed Xiao Wan had pleaded guilty simply because he had no choice.
Rodney Floyd, another of Freud’s brother, said: “I still feel the same pain (and) anger as at the beginning because he could have done this last year and had Start doing this.” “So it’s the same pain today.”
Another brother, Terrence Floyd, said that hearing the confession “makes me feel that, finally, you have taken the responsibility.”
“When he pleaded guilty, I knew he knew why,” he said. “The fact remains that he will actually go to jail and he will pay time for what he does, so this is enough for me.”
The family’s civil rights lawyers Benjamin Kremp, Antonio Romanucci and Jeff Storms said the confession is part of a historic day.
“Although today is a victory for justice in many respects, we will never forget its cost,” they said.
The Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who led the murder of Chauvan, issued a statement on the importance of the plea.
“Today, Derek Chauvin assumed responsibility and admitted his crimes in a public court, depriving George Freud and a 14-year-old boy of their civil rights on the grounds of perjury. . This is important and has historical significance. His recognition marks another moment of accountability for an important event and another step on the road to justice,” he said.
He also thanked the Minnesota State Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice for bringing the case.
“George Freud’s life is important. The young man’s life is important. No one is above the law, and no one is under the law. Although Freud’s life has lost his family and All of us, but I hope that Xiao Wan’s defense changes will mark a new beginning of equality, fairness, respect for everyone in our society, and greater trust in our judicial system,” Ellison said.
The content of the federal indictment allegations
In the first federal indictment, Xiao Wan was charged with two counts related to Freud’s death, including depriving Freud of his right to be free from “unreasonable seizures, which included protection from being unreasonable by the police. The right to use force locally”.
The indictment stated that it also accused Chauvin and former police officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane of being deprived of their legal rights for allegedly failing to provide medical assistance to Freud. According to the federal indictment, Thao and Kueng were also accused of failing to interfere with Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force.
In addition, the second indictment is related to a similar incident in September 2017, in which Chau Wan knelt down a 14-year-old in Minneapolis. The indictment stated that Xiao Wan grabbed the boy’s throat and hit him on the head with a flashlight. Even when the boy was lying prone, handcuffed and not resisting, his knees were still on the boy’s neck and upper back.
Thao, Kueng and Lane pleaded not guilty to federal charges in September.
They also pleaded not guilty to the state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in Freud’s death.The trial is currently scheduled for March 2022.
Evan Perez and Adrienne Broaddus of CNN contributed to this report.
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