Officials: Barr blocked officer plea deal in George Floyd death

Former Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBoehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Dominion: Ex-Michigan state senator 'sowing discord in our democracy' with election fraud claims Hunter Biden says he doesn't know if Delaware laptop was his MORE personally intervened to scuttle a deal in which the Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd would have pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The deal, which Derek Chauvin was prepared to take, would have taken any federal charges off the table and could have resulted in a sentence of up to 10 years. However, Barr believed it was still too early in the investigation to extend such an offer, and that allowing it would appear overly lenient, the Times reported.

Chauvin having discussions of a plea agreement were previously reported, but the earlier reports had not included the detail that he was prepared to plead to a specific charge.


Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died on May 25 after Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes over Floyd’s pleas that he was unable to breathe. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter May 29, but two days later Minnesota Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith EllisonSunday shows - Infrastructure in the spotlight Omar: Minneapolis community is 'on edge' around Chauvin trial Derek Chauvin trial Day One: Five things to know MORE (D) took control of the case and amended the charge to second-degree murder.

Also on Thursday, Judge Peter Cahill, who is handling Chauvin’s case, declined to reinstate the third-degree murder charge after prosecutors requested its restoration.

The prosecutors had cited a recent decision upholding the conviction of former Minneapolis Officer Mohamed Noor on the same charge. Noor was convicted in the 2017 shooting of an unarmed woman who had called 911, which the prosecutors argued set precedent that could be used to reinstate the charge in the Chauvin case, according to the AP.

Floyd’s death led to several months of demonstrations, first in Minneapolis and eventually across the U.S. These have included both peaceful protests and violent riots, although research has indicated 93 percent of the demonstrations were peaceful.

City officials are bracing for Chauvin’s trial, which is set to begin jury selection March 8. Gov. Tim WalzTim WalzObama on Daunte Wright: We need to reimagine policing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Biden, lawmakers start down a road with infrastructure Biden calls for peaceful protests after police shooting of Daunte Wright MORE (D) has requested $4.2 million in security funds, according to the Times.