ST. PAUL, Minn. — Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, pleaded guilty Wednesday to separate federal charges that he violated Floyd’s civil rights.

As part of a plea deal, Chauvin pleaded guilty to one count of violating Floyd’s civil rights and to one count of violating the rights of a 14-year-old in a separate case. Prosecutors said other related charges to those cases would be dismissed.

Prosecutors said they would recommend a sentence of 300 months — 25 years — in federal prison, to be served concurrently with his sentence on the murder conviction.

Chauvin, appearing in court in an orange prison jumpsuit before U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson, answered quietly as the judge asked him whether he understood what he was doing.

“Yes, your honor,” Chauvin said.

“You understand that there is no right to appeal to a higher court? This is the end of it?” Magnuson asked.

“Yes, your honor,” Chauvin responded.

Asked later by the judge to reaffirm his pleas, Chauvin replied, “Guilty, your honor.”

In a joint statement, attorneys Ben Crump, Antonio Romanucci and Jeff Storms, who represented the Floyd family in a lawsuit in his death, said Chauvin’s guilty plea shows that “significant change is afoot” in holding police officers accountable for their actions. But they reminded the public to “never forget its cost.”

“George Floyd was a son, a brother and a father … who changed the world,” the attorneys said. “We all play a role in keeping his legacy alive. We must all keep marching. We must all keep fighting against injustice. We must do this for George, to ensure that his one life and shocking death will change the future for countless others.”

Several members of Floyd’s family were in the room as Chauvin pleaded guilty, including Floyd’s brothers Philonise, Rodney and Terrance Floyd. Also present was the teenager cited in the second civil rights complaint. On the other side of the courtroom were several relatives of Chauvin, including his mother and ex-wife. The two sides did not interact. As the proceedings ended, Philonise Floyd said to the teenager, “It’s a good day for justice,” according to the pool report.

Chauvin waved and smiled at his family as he left the courtroom.

Judge Peter A. Cahill on June 25 sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd. (The Washington Post)

Chauvin had previously pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he violated Floyd’s constitutional rights during a deadly encounter in which he and three other Minneapolis police officers restrained and handcuffed Floyd face down on a city street as Floyd gasped for air and eventually lost consciousness.

The May 2020 incident, captured on a viral Facebook video, spurred a national reckoning on issues of race and policing and sparked mass demonstrations around the world.

Chauvin, who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck and back for about 9½ minutes, was convicted in April on state charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 22½ years in prison. Chauvin is appealing that sentence. It was not immediately clear how his guilty plea would affect his state appeal.

Chauvin did not testify on his own behalf in his state murder case and had said little publicly about the case, except for a brief statement at his June sentencing where he offered his condolences to the Floyd family and hinted at a plea deal.

But on Wednesday, as part of his guilty plea, he was formally asked to admit to several statements about his role in Floyd’s killing.

“You held your knee, your left knee across Mr. Floyd’s neck, back and shoulder, and your right knee across Mr. Floyd’s back and arm?” the prosecutor asked Chauvin.

“Correct,” Chauvin replied.

“This, as Mr. Floyd lay on the ground handcuffed and unresisting?” the prosecutor said.

“Correct,” Chauvin replied.

“You kept your knees on Mr. Floyd’s neck and body even after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive?” the prosecutor said.

“Correct,” Chauvin replied.

Chauvin was also facing a second federal charge alleging he violated the civil rights of a 14-year-old by hitting him with a flashlight and kneeling on him during a 2017 arrest — a case that prosecutors tried to cite in this state murder trial, but were blocked from doing by a judge.

A federal grand jury indicted Chauvin and three other officers at the scene of Floyd’s killing — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao — in May on charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights. A federal trial in that case is expected to begin in January, though an official trial date has not yet been set.

A copy of Chauvin’s plea agreement, disclosed after the hearing, offered new details on what the former officer heard and witnessed at the scene, including from the other officers.

In the plea deal, signed by Chauvin, the former officer admitted he “knew what he was doing was wrong.”

Chauvin admitted he heard bystanders urging him to check for a pulse and to get off Floyd because he was no longer responsive. He also admitted to blocking bystanders from offering medical aid to Floyd, nor did he offer aid himself, “as he was capable of doing,” which resulted in Floyd’s “body injury and death.”

Chauvin also admitted he heard Kueng, who was positioned next to Chauvin with his knees on Floyd’s back, twice tell him he could no longer detect Floyd’s pulse. Chauvin also said he heard Lane, who was holding Floyd’s legs, twice ask him whether Floyd “should be rolled onto his side.”

Attorneys for Kueng and Lane, rookies who had been full-time officers for less than a week, have claimed their clients were taking their directions from Chauvin, the senior officer at the scene. In his plea agreement, Chauvin said he “did not observe” Kueng, Lane or Thao “do or say anything” to get him to lift his knees from Floyd’s body — a claim that could prove pivotal in the looming state and federal cases against those former officers.

It was not immediately clear how Chauvin’s change of plea might affect the upcoming federal trial. The attorneys for Kueng and Thao — Thomas Plunkett and Robert Paule — were seated behind Chauvin in court Wednesday. Earl Gray, who is representing Lane, was in court in Minneapolis, where he is representing former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter in her manslaughter trial in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright. The attorneys have not responded to requests for comment.

Kueng, Lane and Thao are also facing state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death and are scheduled to go on trial in that case on March 7 — a proceeding that was originally scheduled to take place in August.

But Hennepin County District Judge Peter A. Cahill, who is overseeing the state case, delayed the trial to allow the federal case to proceed first. Cahill also voiced a desire to put “some distance” between Chauvin’s high-profile trial and the case against the other officers — citing in part the immense publicity and its potential impact on jury selection.

Federal prosecutors had alleged that Chauvin violated Floyd’s constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable seizure and from unreasonable force by a police officer when he restrained him on the street. Kueng and Thao were charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure by not intervening as Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck and back. All four officers were charged with failing to render medical aid to Floyd.

Attorneys for Kueng, Lane and Thao had filed motions to separate their federal cases from Chauvin’s — arguing their clients could be tarnished by jurors’ views of Chauvin and his behavior toward Floyd. And in an echo of arguments made during the state case, the attorneys also expressed concern that a joint trial could result in a “blame game” among the former officers — with Paule, the attorney for Thao, suggesting the other defendants could become something akin to a “second prosecutor” against his client.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung declined to sever Chauvin from the case, writing in a Nov. 29 order that the attorneys failed to prove that Chauvin’s previous conviction would jeopardize their clients’ rights to a fair trial. He ruled they would be tried jointly, saying he was “unpersuaded” by concerns the officers are likely to mount “antagonistic defenses.”

On Wednesday morning, Magnuson, who will oversee the federal trial, officially severed Chauvin from the case, adding that the case against Kueng, Lane and Thao would proceed.

Chauvin faced a potential life sentence in the federal case over Floyd’s killing. The plea agreement would allow Chauvin to serve his state murder and manslaughter convictions concurrently with his federal sentence, which will be formalized at a later date.