The former Minneapolis Police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd while in police custody has been sentenced for 22-1/2 years in prison.
On Friday, Derek Chauvin was sentenced in Hennepin County to the long sentence in the death of Floyd. Prosecutors asked for a minimum 30-year sentence, while Chauvin’s attorney asked for probation.
Chauvin offered “condolences” but not an outright apology for Floyd’s death likely because he still faces other charges.
Derek Chauvin spoke directly to George Floyd’s family for the first time on Friday: “I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family.” His remarks were brief, as he still faces federal civil rights charges in connection with Floyd’s death. https://t.co/Uo8Y0dQEow
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 25, 2021
Floyd’s death launched a thousand riots. Billions of dollars in damage, loss, not to mention deaths and injuries resulted from antifa and Black Lives Matter riots, fires, and looting – destruction done in Floyd’s name.
Floyd was a drug abuser, who tried to pass fake $20 bills when a store owner called the police to report him. He had a combo of methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system on the day he died and had pills in his mouth when he was stopped by the cops.
Prosecutors including the Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison, never put forward a specific cause of death for Floyd, leaving reasons why he expired purposely vague during the trial. They eventually settled on the idea that laying Floyd on his stomach while he was held down was the chief reason he died. Chauvin was using a police hold on Floyd.
Chauvin’s defense attorney claimed the drugs killed him.
To say that “the book” had been thrown at Chauvin is an understatement. Previously, Judge Peter Cahill granted the prosecution’s motions to invoke sentence enhancements for Chauvin abusing his power while in the commission of a crime; for treating Floyd with cruelty; and for doing so in front of children, one of whom captured the viral video of Chauvin holding Floyd down. Chauvin is under a federal civil rights investigation probe and the IRS is investigating the former cop for not paying taxes on his moonlighting income.
But Floyd’s brother told the court that Floyd’s death has given their family a “life sentence.”
NEW: Philonise Floyd speaks to judge at Derek Chauvin sentencing: “My niece, Gianna—she needs closure. I’m asking that you please find it suitable to give Officer Chauvin the maximum sentence possible…My family and I have been given a life sentence.” https://t.co/IuuRKnTv3s pic.twitter.com/TOkdMhXAcX
— ABC News (@ABC) June 25, 2021
Victim impact statements were given before Cahill sentenced Chauvin.
Related: 8 Righteous Reasons Why Derek Chauvin Deserves a New Trial –– and That Juror’s Shirt Is Only One of Them
The most bracing was a recorded video interview with Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter, Gianna, who sweetly answered the questions of an interviewer about her dad.
“I miss you and I love you,” Gianna Floyd said in the video when asked what she would say to her dad.[…] “We used to have dinner meals every single night before we went to bed,” she said. “My daddy always used to help me brush my teeth.”
She had a long list of things she would still have liked to do with her father. “I want to play with him, have fun, go on a plane ride.”
Three other police officers will stand trial in March and all four former officers face federal charges in September.
Derek Chauvin’s mother begged a Minnesota judge Friday to give the former cop a light sentence, and she defended her son as a “good man” despite his murder conviction in the death of George Floyd.
“Derek devoted 19 years of his life to the Minneapolis Police Department. It has been difficult for me to hear and read what the media, public and prosecution team believe Derek to be — an aggressive, heartless and uncaring person,” mom Carolyn Pawlenty told Judge Peter Cahill on Friday afternoon in Hennepin County Court.
“I can tell you that is far from the truth, my son’s identity has also been reduced to that of a racist. I want this court to know that none of these things are true and that my son is a good man.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that 11 cops have been prosecuted for murder in recent years.
Nationally, 11 police officers, including Mr. Chauvin, have been convicted of murder since 2005, said Philip Stinson, a professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University. Nine of the 11 have been sentenced, with an average of 21.7 years. The average would be lower if it left out two officers given life sentences for killing a former spouse or girlfriend while on duty, he said. The data allocate 40 years to a life sentence.
Chauvin’s attorney, Erik Nelson, filed for a new trial because of pretrial publicity, fear of reprisals by jurors, prosecutorial misconduct, and politics that infused the case. Judge Cahill denied that motion before sentencing.