MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Multiple sources tell WCCO that federal prosecutors are in talks with former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin about a possible plea deal. They say Chauvin is close to reaching a deal, and that is what he was likely referring to when he made a cryptic comment to the family of George Floyd during his sentencing last week.

“Due to legal matters, I’m not able to give a full formal statement … I give my condolences to the Floyd family, there’s gonna be some other information in the future that will be of interest and I hope these will give you some peace of mind,” Chauvin said prior to his sentencing.

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Sources suggest Chauvin was likely referring to a plea deal in the federal case against him. As part of a possible plea deal Chauvin would have to publicly explain what he did to Floyd and why.

That was, of course, the question that Floyd’s brother poignantly asked of Chauvin at the sentencing.

“We don’t want to see no more slaps on the wrist. We’ve been through that already,” Terrence Floyd said before addressing Chauvin. “What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?”

Sources tell WCCO that, as part of the plea, Chauvin could get a 20- to 25-year 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.

If convicted in federal court, Chauvin could face life in prison.

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Former Hennepin County Chief Public Mary Moriarity says Chauvin has to be thinking about the swift guilty verdict in the state case, and that may be giving him more incentive to try to negotiate a plea deal.

“That is because, in federal court, there would be a substantial difference between what he would receive if he went to trial and was convicted versus what he would get if he pled guilty, and as they say take responsibility for his actions,” Moriarity said.

It’s important to remember an earlier plea deal involving the feds in late May 2020 collapsed at the 11th hour. The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment, and WCCO also did not hear back from Ben Crump, the Floyd family attorney, or Eric Nelson, the attorney for Chauvin.

During his time at Minneapolis Police, Chauvin was a Field Training Officer (FTO). That means he was responsible for training new officers while on patrol. It’s a program Minneapolis is now taking a closer look at.

“The FTOs must exemplify MPD values and must work to transmit those values to new officers,” Deputy Chief of Professional Standards Amelia Huffman said.

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says he is committed to change at the Minneapolis Police Department and will invest in the FTO program to make these changes.

Esme Murphy