Former US cop Derek Chauvin gets 22.5 years in prison

Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer convicted for murdering George Floyd last year, has been sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. According to CNN, prosecutors had asked for a 30-year sentence, and Chauvin’s attorney asked for probation and time served. However, Chauvin has no prior criminal record.

The judge was given the discretion to hand down a sentence between 10 years and eight months and 15 years for each. Judge Peter A Cahill said before sentencing Chauvin that his sentence will not be based on emotion, according to the New York Times. “But at the same time,” he said, “I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all of the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family.”

Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He faced up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter.

Speaking briefly in the court, Chauvin gave his condolences to Floyd`s family. “I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family… There`s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope things will give you some peace of mind,” he said.

Carolyn Pawlenty, the mother of Derek Chauvin, said her son is “a good man” and someone who “always dedicated his life and time to the police department.”

“My son`s identity has also been reduced to that as a racist. I want this court to know that none of these things are true, and that my son is a good man,” she said.

Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank, speaking in court at Derek Chauvin`s sentencing, argued that Chauvin abused the power he had as a police officer on the day he killed George Floyd, CNN reported.

“This case wasn`t about police officers, all police officers. It wasn`t about policing. This case was about Derek Chauvin disregarding all that training he received and assaulting Floyd until he suffocated to death,” he said.

George Floyd`s 7-year-old daughter is delivering the first victim impact statement at Derek Chauvin`s sentencing. “I ask about him all the time,” she said.

After Chauvin`s conviction in April, US President Joe Biden had said that the verdict can be a giant step forward on the march towards justice in America.

“The verdict is a step forward. And while nothing can ever bring George Floyd back, this can be a giant step forward on the march towards justice in America,” he said in an address to the nation.

Chauvin was the first white police officer in Minnesota to be convicted of murdering a Black person, and many in the country saw the high-profile trial as a referendum on policing in the US. The former officer was charged with killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, which was captured on video footage in May 2020 and triggered nationwide demonstrations for racial justice.

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