Chauvin sentenced to more than 22 years for Floyd murder

Friday - 25/06/2021 18:25
Prison term is 10 years longer than state guidelines suggested as judge cites ‘abuse of position and cruelty’

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison on Friday for the murder of George Floyd, whose death became a watershed moment in the national debate over race and policing. 

The 270-month sentence handed down by Judge Peter Cahill was 10 years longer than state guidelines had suggested, despite the defence’s plea for leniency.

“This is not based on emotion or sympathy,” Cahill said during a hearing at the Hennepin county government centre in Minneapolis. “But at the same time I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain of all the families, especially the Floyd family.”

The sentence, he told Chauvin, was based on his abuse of authority and “particular cruelty” to George Floyd.

Chauvin, 45, was found guilty in April after a six-week trial. The former Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest as Floyd cried out numerous times that he could not breathe.

Chauvin said before sentencing that he could not give a full statement because of ongoing legal matters — he is likely to appeal — but offered condolences to the Floyd family.

During the sentencing hearing, Terrence Floyd wept as he told the court how his brother’s murder affected him.

“I wanted to know from the man himself — why? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?” he said. “Why did you stay there?”

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