On Wednesday, the defense filed a motion in a Minnesota court which seeks time served for ex-Minnesota officer Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s slaying.
The Star-Tribune reported that prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence for Chauvin, who was convicted on April 20 of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Conversely, defense attorney Eric Nelson wrote that “requisite substantial and compelling circumstances” exist in this case that warrant Hennepin County judge Peter Cahill to deviate from state guidelines and hand down a lighter sentence.
Nelson’s also asserted that Chauvin was the victim of a “broken system,” but he did not explain how.
Nelson filed Wednesday’s motion weeks after Cahill identified multiple aggravating circumstances in this case. Cahill wrote that Chauvin “abused a position of trust and authority” as a police officer and that he “treated Floyd with particular cruelty.”
The judge listed other aggravating factors, including the presence of children during the fatal May 2020 incident and the fact that Chauvin committed the crime with “active participation” of others — specifically fellow Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34.
Cahill concluded that Chauvin abused his authority by not rendering aid to Floyd even as bystanders claimed he was dying. He also found that Chauvin continued to kneel on Floyd after another officer checked Floyd’s pulse twice and found none.
Chauvin’s sentencing is scheduled for June 25. Lane, Kueng, and Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. Their joint trial is scheduled to begin next March.
Last month, a federal grand jury indicted the four ex-cops for violating Floyd’s civil rights. Chauvin is also accused of violating the civil rights of a 14-year-old boy he allegedly struck with a flashlight, held by the throat, and knelt on for 17 minutes during a 2017 arrest.
Chauvin, Lane, Thao, and Kueng’s federal trials have not yet been scheduled.
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[Featured image: Derek Chauvin/Minnesota Department of Corrections]