Former police officer Derek Sauvin, who was on trial for the murder of African-American George Floyd a year ago in Minneapolis, has been sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison.
The video of the death of 46-year-old Floyd, lying face down on the ground and handcuffed, shouting that he “could not breathe” as the white policeman knelt in his throat, went around the world, causing shock but also triggering an unprecedented movement. against police violence.
“The court sentences you to 270 months in prison, ten more years than the Minnesota Penal Code provides for such cases,” said Judge Peter Cahill. “My decision is not based on emotion or compassion (…) or public opinion,” he added, adding: “I do not seek to send a message.”
In a brief statement to the court before the sentencing was announced, Sauvin expressed his condolences to Floyd’s family.
“Due to pending legal issues I am not in a position to make an official statement at this stage but, in short, I express my condolences to the Floyd family.” “In the future there will be new information, I hope interesting, that will bring you peace,” he added.
This was the first time the former police officer spoke publicly, after the death of the 46-year-old African-American, since he had not even testified at his trial in March.
Floyd’s family had earlier asked the court to impose a “maximum” sentence on Sauvin, a 40-year sentence.
“Why; “What did you think when you knelt on my brother’s neck while you knew it was not a threat?” Floyd’s brother, Terence, asked the 45-year-old former police officer.
Prosecutors have asked several of Floyd’s relatives to contact Hannipal County Judge Peter Cahill. The 7-year-old daughter of the victim, Gianna, was the first to start, through a videotaped message. “I keep asking him. “My dad always helped me brush my teeth,” said the girl. When asked what she would say if she could see him again, she replied: “I miss you and I love you.”
Derek Sauvin’s mother, for her part, assured that her son has a “good heart”, despite the image that has passed in the media. “He is a quiet, honest and impartial person. “He was thinking and rethinking the events of May 25, 2020,” said Caroline Powledi. “I saw the price he paid and I do not think a heavy penalty would be good for him,” he added.
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