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Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22 years and 6 months in murder of George Floyd

George Floyd Officer Trial
Posted at 8:58 AM, Jun 25, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, has been sentenced to 270 months in prison, or 22 years and six months behind bars.

Judge Peter Cahill handed down the sentence during a hearing on Friday. The judge said Chauvin was granted credit for the 199 days he has already served.

Watch Court TV's coverage of the case below:

The sentencing hearing began with the prosecution presenting four victim impact statements. The first was from Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter, Gianna Floyd, who appeared in a prerecorded video.

She said she asks about her father all the time, about how he got hurt. When she sees him one day, she says she wants to play with him. She says he’s still here with her in spirit. When asked if she could say anything to her dad, Gianna said, “It would be I miss you and I love you.”

Victim impact statement from George Floyd's 7-year-old daughter, Gianna

Next, the victim’s nephew, Brandon Williams, and his two brothers, Philonise and Terrance Floyd, delivered impact statements. They asked for the maximum sentence to be imposed.

“It is the request of my family that the maximum penalty for the crime for which the defendant was convicted be imposed,” said Williams.

“Chauvin had no regard for human life, George’s life. I stand before you today, asking you to please help us find closure by giving Chauvin the maximum sentence possible, making sure he does his time consecutively, without the possibility of parole, probation, or getting out early for good behavior,” said Philonise.

"What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother's neck? When you knew that he posed no threat anymore. He was handcuffed. Why didn't you at least get up?" said Terrance.

After their statements, Prosecutor Matthew Frank asked for Derek Chauvin to be sentenced to 30 years in prison.

“Your honor, we ask the court to impose a sentence of 360 months," said Frank.

Derek Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, then spoke before the court and defended her son's character.

“It has been difficult for me to hear and read what the media, public, and prosecution team believe to be an aggressive, heartless, and uncaring person. I can tell you that’s far from the truth. My son’s identity has been reduced to that of a racist. I want the court to know that none of these things are true and that my son is a good man,” said Pawlenty.

Afterward, Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, asked the court to impose a lower sentence for a number of reasons, including the former's cop's lack of a criminal record.

“He’s not coming into this as a career criminal," said Nelson. "He’s coming into this never having violated the law because he lived an honorable life and attempted to live an honorable life.”

And then, in rare remarks, Chauvin spoke to the court himself and offered his condolences to the Floyd family.

“I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family," said Chauvin. "There is 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."

Derek Chauvin speaks directly to Floyd family, offers condolences

Friday morning, the judge in the case rejected Chauvin's request for a new trial. In May, Chauvin's defense team requested a new trial, arguing that jurors may have felt pressured or committed misconduct. USA Today reports that the defense " did not include details about that assertion" in its filing. Last week, prosecutors argued that the request for a new trial was a "desperate attempt to undo the verdict."

A jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in April following a three-week trial that captured the attention of people across the world.

Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, when officers pinned the 46-year-old man to the ground for several minutes outside a Cup Foods convenience store. Officers had originally responded to the store after Floyd allegedly tried to use a counterfeit bill.

Among the officers was Chauvin, who was caught on bystander video pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck and back for more than nine minutes while the man struggled to breathe, called out for help, and said, “I can’t breathe.” Eventually, Floyd became unconscious and was later pronounced dead.

The video of the deadly arrest soon went viral on social media and sparked several months of protests against police brutality and racial injustice across the country, often led by Black Lives Matter activists.

Those protests put a broader spotlight on the role race plays in policing and others facets of American life. As a result, a wide range of changes were made in the country, from communities readdressing law enforcement laws to Confederate statues being taken down, even companies dropping problematic branding.

The legal battles in the death of Floyd aren’t over now that Chauvin has been sentenced, though. A trial for the other three former officers involved – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and Alexander Kueng – is set to be held in March of 2022 after being delayed. They’re accused of aiding and abetting in Floyd's murder.

Below is Chauvin's sentencing order, detailing the judge's decision: