White cop Derek Chauvin, found guilty of murdering African-American George Floyd, will be set Friday on how many years he will spend behind bars for the crime that rocked America.
Prosecutors have sought a 30-year prison sentence for the 45-year-old who, on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, strangled the black 40-year-old under his knee and sparked an unprecedented anti-racist outburst across the United States and beyond.
“He committed a brutal murder”, “traumatized” the relatives of his victim and “shocked the conscience of the Nation,” prosecutors said in documents sent ahead of the hearing.
The sentencing schedule in Minnesota calls for a minimum of 12 and a half years in prison for crimes he was convicted of on April 20, after a resounding trial.
Judge Peter Cahill, who will hand down sentence in the afternoon, paved the way for a heavier sentence by noting four aggravating circumstances: the police officer “abused his position of trust and authority,” “said George Floyd with great cruelty, “acted in the presence of minors and” committed his crime in a meeting, “he wrote.
Before rendering his decision, the magistrate will hear one last time from relatives of George Floyd. Derek Chauvin will also have a chance to speak, but he’s unlikely to get it. During his trial, he had already used his right to remain silent, expressing no regret or apologies for his actions.
Thirteen months ago, to the day, he wanted to arrest George Floyd on suspicion of having used a fake 20 dollar bill to buy cigarettes. With three colleagues, he had pinned him to the ground, handcuffed, before kneeling on his neck.
Derek Chauvin had maintained his pressure for nearly ten minutes, indifferent to the groans of George Floyd but also to the pleas of distraught passers-by, even once the pulse of the forty-something had become undetectable.
The scene, filmed and uploaded by a young girl, quickly went viral and sparked huge protests around the world.
– Relief –
Organized in March, the trial of Derek Chauvin had been followed by millions of Americans glued to their screens.
For weeks, they relived the scene from all angles, heard the witnesses of the tragedy recount their trauma and attended an unprecedented parade of police officers, who came to denounce the attitude of their former colleague.
For his part, the police officer, Eric Nelson, hammered that he had contented himself with following the procedures in force in the police force and that the death of George Floyd was due to health problems combined with the ingestion. drugs.
The jurors were not convinced and took less than ten hours to find him guilty.
Their decision was greeted with a great sigh of relief in the country, which feared it would flare up again if Derek Chauvin emerged free from the hearings.
Me Nelson, however, did not change his line of defense. Prior to sentencing, he pleaded that his client had made “a good faith error” and requested a reduced sentence to the length of time already served.
He highlighted the risk that his client, who was imprisoned as soon as the verdict was announced in a high security establishment, would be killed in prison.
Whatever the decision of Judge Cahill, it will be the subject of an appeal, Me Nelson having already expressed his intention to request the annulment of the verdict, in particular because of doubts about the impartiality of certain jurors.
The judicial file will not stop there: the three colleagues of Derek Chauvin will be tried in March 2022 for “complicity in murder” by the justice of Minnesota.
In parallel, the four men will also face a trial in federal justice which indicted them for “violation of the constitutional rights” of George Floyd.
Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.
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