Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd, was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison on June 25.
Chauvin was found guilty on April 20, 2021, of three counts of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground under Chauvin’s knee for more than nine minutes.
At the sentencing hearing, four members of Floyd’s family presented witness impact statements.
George Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter Gianna delivered her statement by video.
“I ask about him all the time,” she said.
When someone in the video asked Gianna what she would tell her father if she could see him again, she replied, “It would be I miss you and I love you.”
Brandon Williams, George Floyd’s nephew, appeared very emotional as he presented his statement.
“The heartbreak and hurt goes far beyond any number of tears we could ever cry. Words simply cannot express the pain, anguish, and suffering that our family and friends have endured since George’s murder. It has been truly unimaginable,” he said
Terrence Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd, said, “On behalf of me and my family, we seek the maximum penalty. We don’t want to see no more slaps on the wrist. We’ve been through that already… no, no, no, no.”
If a Black man killed a white man, he said, there was little doubt what verdict the court would impose.
“If it was us, if the roles was reversed, there wouldn’t be no case. It would have been open and shut. We’d have been under the jail for murdering somebody. So, we ask for that same penalty for Derek Chauvin.”
George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, wiped away tears during his statement.
“Every day, I have begged for justice to be served, reliving the execution of George while others begged and pleaded for officer Chauvin to simply just allow George to take a breath. I haven’t had a real night’s sleep because of the nightmares I constantly have, hearing my brother beg and plead for his life over and over again.”
Judge Peter Cahill attached a 22-page memorandum to the sentencing order and asked everyone to read his legal analysis.
Minnesota has a number of sentencing guidelines that affected Chauvin’s sentence.
He was sentenced on the most serious charge of second-degree unintentional murder which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years.
But the sentencing guidelines impose a presumptive sentence of 12.5 years for someone like Mr. Chauvin with no criminal history.
Under Minnesota law, Chauvin will serve two thirds of the sentence, or 15 years in prison, before probation.
State prosecutors asked for 30 years, saying Chauvin’s actions were egregious and “shocked the nation’s conscience.”
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson requested time served plus probation, saying Chauvin was the product of a “broken” system and “believed he was doing his job.”
Chauvin has 90 days to appeal and is expected to.
He previously requested a new trial, claiming the court abused its discretion and prosecutorial misconduct affected his right to a fair trial. He also asked for the trial to be moved out of Minneapolis because the publicity surrounding Floyd’s death influenced the jury pool.
Judge Cahill denied all of these requests.
Chauvin also faces federal charges related to George Floyd’s death. He is accused of violating Floyd’s constitutional rights.
Three Minnesota police officers will stand trial in Minnesota in March 2020 on charges of aiding and abetting. Those officers also face federal charges.
SOURCES: APNEWS.COM, CNN.COM, NYTIMES.COM, THESTAR.COM