MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was prepared to plead guilty to third-degree murder in George Floyd’s death before then-Attorney General William Barr personally blocked the plea deal last year.

Two law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the talks say the deal would have averted any potential federal charges, including a civil rights offense. It was part of an effort to quickly resolve the case to avoid more protests after riots damaged a swath of south Minneapolis.

The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the talks. The officials said Barr rejected the deal in part because he felt the investigation into Floyd’s death was still in its relative infancy.