Derek Chauvin sentenced to 20+ years in prison in George Floyd’s death
Chauvin gives condolences to Floyd’s family in first remarks | 7-year-old Gianna Floyd says she misses her dad
Derek Chauvin Seeks New Trial in George Floyd Murder Case.The former police officer’s attorney, Eric Nelson, filed a motion for a new trial May 4.Chauvin’s defense argues the court "abused its discretion" and says jurors should have been sequestered to avoid outside pressure.The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial.., Attorney Eric Nelson, via court filings.that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings, Attorney Eric Nelson, via court filings.Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He is currently in custody
By Tim Darnell
Updated June 25, 2021
Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis police officer who was convicted in April of murder and manslaughter charges in George Floyd’s death, was sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison on Friday.
Judge Peter Cahill attached a 22-page memo to his sentencing, explaining his decision. Prosecutors were seeking at least a 30-year prison sentence.
Chauvin, 45, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Under Minnesota statutes, Chauvin was sentenced only on the most serious charge of second-degree murder. That’s because all of the charges against him stem from one act, with one victim. The max for that charge is 40 years.
»Watch a replay of Derek Chauvin’s sentencing, courtesy of Court TV:
Before the sentence was announced, Chauvin spoke for the first time since the trial began.
“I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family,” he said. “There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest, and I hope things will give you some peace of mind.”
Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, also appeared before the court to plead for leniency.
Only hours before the sentencing, Cahill denied Chauvin’s motion for a new trial and also refused to grant a hearing into defense allegations of jury misconduct.
Prosecutors presented four victim impact statements before Chauvin’s sentencing, including a video of Floyd’s daughter, 7-year-old Gianna Floyd.
“I miss him all the time,” she said.
Floyd family attorney Ben Crump told The Associated Press that family members were feeling “anxious and tense.” Floyd’s brothers Philonise and Terrence also made victim impact statements at Chauvin’s sentencing, as did his nephew Brandon Williams, who said “our family is forever broken.”
Floyd died last May after Chauvin, a white officer, pinned his knee on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for about 9 ½ minutes in a case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
Cahill last month agreed with prosecutors that aggravating factors in Floyd’s death warranted going higher than the guidelines. The judge found that Chauvin abused his position of authority, treated Floyd with particular cruelty, and that the crime was seen by several children. He also wrote that Chauvin knew the restraint of Floyd was dangerous.
“The prolonged use of this technique was particularly egregious in that George Floyd made it clear he was unable to breathe and expressed the view that he was dying as a result of the officers’ restraint,” Cahill wrote last month.
Since his April conviction, Chauvin has been held at the state’s only maximum security prison, in Oak Park Heights. That’s unusual — people don’t typically go to a prison while waiting for sentencing — but Chauvin is there for security reasons. He has been on “administrative segregation” for his safety and has been in a 10-foot-by-10-foot cell, away from the general population. He has meals brought to his room and is allowed out for solitary exercise for an average of one hour a day.
It wasn’t immediately clear where he would serve his time after he is sentenced. The Department of Corrections will place Chauvin after Cahill’s formal sentencing order commits Chauvin to its custody.
The three other ex-Minneapolis police officers charged in Floyd’s death will be tried together beginning Aug. 23, a trial also to be held in Hennepin County. Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane were fired, along with Chauvin, the day after Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.
The three officers are charged with aiding and abetting unintentional second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, charges that carry up to 40 years in prison. The men remain free on $750,000 bail.
Thao, Kueng and Lane responded to a call about a “forgery in process” but did not directly cut off Floyd’s breathing.
Floyd was arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner market. He panicked, pleaded that he was claustrophobic and struggled with police when they tried to put him in a squad car. They put him on the ground instead.
The centerpiece of the case was bystander video of Floyd, handcuffed behind his back, gasping repeatedly, “I can’t breathe,” and onlookers yelling at Chauvin to stop as the officer pressed his knee on or close to Floyd’s neck for what authorities say was about 9 ½ minutes, including several minutes after Floyd’s breathing had stopped and he had no pulse.