Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 years and ½ years prison for the murder of George Floyd committed last year. Prosecutors had asked the court for a 30-year sentence and for probation and time served.
Statements were made by George Floyd’s family today. Chauvin’s statement was brief to the court but did not seem apologetic in anyway- no remorse- no emotion. He said, He expressed his condolences to the Floyd family and said, “there’s going to be information coming out in the future that will be of interest” and that he hoped it would “bring them peace of mind.”
Chauvin is also facing federal civil rights charges related to Floyd’s death and in a similar case with a teenager in 2017. He is also facing tax fraud charges where he resided and will most likely face some serious charges that will add to his sentence.
Some family members appeared in a video and made statements. “I have had to sit through each day of Officer Derek Chauvin’s trial and watch the video of George dying, over and over again. For an entire year, I had to relive George’s torture and death every hour of the day,” Philonise Floyd said. “George’s life mattered. So, my family and I, most of all my niece Gianna… she needs closure.”
Terrence Floyd turned to Chauvin in court and said to him directly. “I wanted to know from the man himself, why? What were you thinking? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?” he asked. He also asked and told the Judge Peter Cahill to consider what would have happened had a Black man killed someone in the way Chauvin did. “If it’d been us, there would have been no case. It would have been open-and-shut,” he said. “We’d have been under the jail. For murder…. We don’t want to see smacks on the wrist. We’ve seen that already.”
Also in court was Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty who told the judge in a statement, Derek devoted 19 years of his life to the Minneapolis Police Department,” she said. “It has been difficult for me to read and hear what the media, public and prosecution team believe Derek to be, an aggressive, heartless, uncaring person. I can tell you that is far from the truth. She also said her son was more than the public image that emerged of him after Floyd’s death.”
“Even though I’ve not spoken publicly, I have always supported him 100% and always will. Derek has played over and over in his head the events of that day. I have seen the toll it’s taken on him,” she added. “I believe a lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well. When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me.”
Derek Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson said to the court- “In the end, it’s my sincere hope when this proverbial dust settles, the community impact brings forth principled debate and civil public discourse and ultimately leaves a positive effect on the city of Minneapolis, city of Minnesota and the United States.”