Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, was on Friday afternoon June 25, sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.
Chauvin was sentenced by Judge Peter Cahill at the Hennepin County Government Center. The Judge left most of his reasoning to a 22-page document he did not read aloud.
Cahill denied Chauvin’s motion for a new trial Friday morning as well as a motion for a Schwartz hearing.
“Due to legal matters, I’m not able to give a full formal statement … I give my condolences to the Floyd family, there’s gonna be some other information in the future that will be of interest and I hope these will give you some peace of mind,” Chauvin said before the sentencing.
Minnesota’s Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank, presenting the state’s argument for sentencing, began thanking — in addition to the witnesses who testified, and Floyd’s family members — the police officers who also testified during the trial.
“Those officers didn’t hide behind a blue wall. They came forward, they told this court and those jurors, what they knew about training and responsibility,” Frank said. “This wasn’t about all officers. This wasn’t about policing. This case was about Derek Chauvin disregarding all that training he received and assaulting Mr. Floyd until he suffocated to death.”
Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in April. George Floyd died May last year after Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for up to 9.5 minutes.
Prosecutors contend that Floyd, 46, died of asphyxiation due to Chauvin’s knee on his neck even after paramedics arrived. Prosecutor Steve Schleicher said during closing argument at that time that Chauvin killed Floyd on purpose, and that he “chose pride over policing.” “This wasn’t policing. This was murder,” he said. “Believe your eyes,” Schleicher reiterated to the jurors Monday as they re-watched the viral footage of Floyd’s death.
It took the jury about 10 hours of deliberation to reach their verdict.
The sentencing on Friday began with emotional victim impact statements from Floyd’s relatives, including his daughter, Gianna Floyd. Chauvin himself offering “my condolences to the Floyd family.”
“I ask about him all the time,” Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter Gianna said in a video shown at the beginning of the sentencing.
"I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family" — Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murdering George Floyd pic.twitter.com/wC0g2Fq7P5
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 25, 2021
Rev. Al Sharpton criticized the 22.5 years sentence, saying the former police officer should have received the maximum sentence.
“This verdict and this sentencing is the longest sentence we’ve seen, but it is not justice because George Floyd is in a grave tonight even though Chauvin will be in jail,” Sharpton said during a speech in Minneapolis. “So let us not feel that we’re here to celebrate because justice would’ve been George Floyd never had been killed. Justice would’ve been the maximum.”
Sharpton added: “We got more than we thought only because we have been disappointed so many times before, 22 and a half years is longer than we’ve ever got. But shorter than what we should’ve gotten in the past.”