Derek Chauvin: George Floyd’s Murderer Sentenced to 22 1/2 Years in Jail
Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 years and six months in jail for murdering African-American man George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.
The judge said Derek Chauvin’s sentence was based “on your abuse of a position of trust and authority, and also the particular cruelty shown” to George Floyd.
George Floyd, 48, died after Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine minutes.
His murder caused global protests against racism and police brutality.
Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second-degree murder and other charges last month. During his trial, his lawyer described the killing as “an error made in good faith”.
He was also told to register as a predatory offender and was barred from owning firearms for life.
Derek Chauvin and three other former officers are separately charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights.
The Floyd family and their supporters welcomed the sentence.
Lawyer Ben Crump tweeted: “This historic sentence brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability.”
George Floyd’s sister Bridgett said the sentence “shows that matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously” but there was still “a long way to go”.
President Joe Biden said the sentence “seemed to be appropriate” but admitted that he did not know all the details.
During the sentencing hearing, George Floyd’s brother Terrence Floyd demanded the maximum available, a sentence of 40 years.
“Why? What were you thinking? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?” he said.
George Floyd’s daughter Gianna, aged seven, appeared in a video recording, saying she missed him and she loved him.
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“I ask about him all the time,” she said.
“My daddy always used to help me brush my teeth.”
The judge said the case had been painful for the community and the country, but above all, for George Floyd’s family.
“What the sentence is not based on is emotion, or sympathy, but at the same time, I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family,” said Judge Peter Cahill.
Derek Chauvin told the court he offered his condolences to the Floyd family, saying there would be “some other information in the future” and he hoped “things will give you some peace of mind”.
However, he did not apologize.
In court, Derek Chauvin’s mother said he was a “good man”.
“I have always believed in your innocence and I will never waver from that,” said Carolyn Pawlenty.
Derek Chauvin’s sentence was “one of the longest a former police officer has ever received” for deadly force, said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.