Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced on Friday to 270 months for George Floyd’s May 2020 murder.
Hennepin County judge Peter Cahill handed down the sentence to Chauvin, an ex-cop who a jury convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin was sentenced on Friday for the second-degree murder charges, the two lesser charges were unadjudicated.
The defense sought probation for Cahill, with lead attorney Eric Nelson writing 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. The prosecution sought a 30-year sentence for Chauvin.
BREAKING: Derek Chauvin addresses the court at his sentencing in the murder of George Floyd.
"I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family," he says in brief remarks. https://t.co/IuuRKnTv3s pic.twitter.com/Wj2AUZXC9t
— ABC News (@ABC) June 25, 2021
Officers were called to Cup Foods in May 2020 amid allegations that Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill. Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes before Floyd lost consciousness and died.
In May, Cahill identified multiple aggravating circumstances in this case — finding that Chauvin “abused a position of trust and authority” as a police officer and that he “treated Floyd with particular cruelty.”
BREAKING: Carolyn Pawlenty, Derek Chauvin's mother, addresses the court at her son's sentencing: "My son is a good man…When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me." https://t.co/IuuRKnTv3s pic.twitter.com/yYhCdtTilW
— ABC News (@ABC) June 25, 2021
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.
Lane, Kueng, and Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. Their joint trial is scheduled to begin next March.
Chauvin’s sentencing comes weeks after a federal grand jury indicted him and the three other 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/Hennepin County jail; George Floyd/Facebook]