Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for the death of George Floyd.
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for up to 9 1/2 minutes. Mr. Floyd died at the scene. (See Guilty Verdict in Floyd Case.)
Prosecutors had requested a 30-year sentence.
With good behavior, Chauvin could be paroled after serving two-thirds of his sentence. That would be about 15 years in prison.
Minnesota sentencing guidelines called for 12 1/2 years. But Judge Peter Cahill had agreed with prosecutors ahead of Friday’s proceedings that there were aggravating circumstances that could justify a heavier punishment. Those circumstances are that Chauvin treated Floyd with particular cruelty, abused his position of authority as a police officer, and did it in front of children.
The defense requested probation, saying Chauvin was the product of a “broken” system and “believed he was doing his job.”
Before the sentence was announced, Floyd’s family members took the stand. They expressed sorrow about his death. They asked for the maximum penalty.
Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter, Gianna, spoke in a video played in court. She said that if she could say something to her father now, it would be: “I miss you and I love you.”
Chauvin, who did not testify at his trial, spoke briefly at the sentencing hearing. He gave condolences to the Floyd family and suggested that some additional forthcoming information would give the victim's family some peace of mind. His mother asked for mercy for her son.
The three other officers who were present at Floyd's arrest are scheduled for trial in March. They face state charges of aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter.
(Photo Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over the sentencing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on June 25, 2021. Court TV via AP)