Derek Chauvin Sentenced to 22.5 Years for Murdering George Floyd

Derek Chauvin, the former US police officer convicted of murdering African-American man George Floyd on a Minneapolis street last year, was sentenced to 22 years and six months in jail.

According to Judge Peter Cahill, Mr. Chauvin’s sentence was based “on your abuse of a position of trust and authority, and also the particular cruelty shown” to Mr. Floyd. The 48-year-old African-American man died after the former police officer knelt on his neck for around nine minutes.

Protests against racism and police brutality spread worldwide after the unfortunate event.

Mr. Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second-degree murder and other charges in May. During the trial, his lawyer stated that the murder had been a mistake “made in good faith,” but authorities said that he would be registered as a predatory offender and banned from possessing firearms for life.

Like Mr. Chauvin, three other former officers were charged with violating Mr. Floyd’s civil rights.

Before sentencing was imposed on Friday, Mr. Chauvin spoke briefly and offered his condolences to the victim’s family, saying that there would be “some other information in the future” and that he hoped that “things will give you some peace of mind.” However, he did not apologize to Mr. Floyd’s relatives.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison stated that Chauvin’s sentence was “one of the longest a former police officer has ever received” for deadly force.

But the judge clarified that neither emotion nor public opinion did not influence his decision, stating that he wanted to “acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all of the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family.” Moreover, Mr. Cahill wrote in a 22-page memorandum that two aggravating issues warranted a harsher sentence.

Mr. Chauvin “abused his position of trust or authority,” treating Floyd with “particular cruelty” and “without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings,” the judge added.

Mr. Cahill said that the former police officer “objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd’s pleas’ even as Mr. Floyd was begging for his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die.” He also mentioned that “Mr. Chauvin’s prolonged restraint of Mr. Floyd was also much longer and more painful than the typical scenario in a second-degree or third-degree murder or second-degree manslaughter case.”

Mr. Chauvin has been administrative segregation status to guarantee his general safety.

Minnesota Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sarah Fitzgerald said Mr. Chauvin would temporarily remain in a restricted housing unit separated from the general population at the Minnesota Correctional Facility, Oak Park Heights. “His ultimate placement is undetermined, but his safety will be our predominate concern when determining final placement,” she added.

Under Minnesota law, Mr. Chauvin must serve at least 15 years, two-thirds of his sentence, to be eligible for parole.

The Floyd family welcomed the sentence despite demanding the maximum available, a 40-year sentence. “This historic sentence brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability,” lawyer Ben Crump, who leads Mr. Floyd’s family legal team, tweeted.