Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer declared guilty of the murder of African American George Floyd He was sentenced this Friday to 22 and a half years in prison.
At a hearing this afternoon in Hennepin County Court, widely publicized by outlets that even broadcast it live on their respective YouTube channels and social media, Judge Peter Cahill announced the conviction against Chauvin, 45.
Of the 22 years, Chauvin will serve 15 years incarcerated.
As Chauvin had no criminal record, he could only be sentenced to a maximum of 12 and a half years in prison for each of the first two charges and 4 years in prison for the third.
Chauvin gave his condolences to Floyd’s family
Before sentencing, Chauvin gave condolences to the African-American’s family.
“There will be information in the future that might be of interest and I hope it gives you, in some way, peace of mind,” said Chauvin, addressing Floyd’s family.
The previous ones were the first words from Chauvin’s mouth in court throughout the process and after he refused to testify during the trial that lasted six weeks between March and April.
Judge rejected defense request for a new trial
The conviction came hours after the judge rejected the defense’s request for a new trial.
Cahill ruled last night that Chauvin and his defense did not present substantive allegations supporting the request for a new trial.
According to the judge, the convict and his lawyer Eric Nelson failed to demonstrate the need to annul the result of the process already concluded because, allegedly, the Court abused its discretion or made mistakes that led to the defendant not having the right to fair litigation.
Cahill also argued that Chauvin’s legal representative failed to demonstrate misconduct by members of the prosecution and the jury.
Chauvin’s mother speaks, but does not mention George Floyd’s family
An unexpected part of the process this afternoon was the message from Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, who asked the judge for a lenient sentence against his son.
“When I sentence my son, it will also be sentenced to me. I won’t be able to see him, talk to him on the phone, or give him a hug, ”anticipated the woman with a broken voice as part of her request to Cahill.
The woman also insisted that she believes in her son’s innocence even though he was found guilty of all the criminal charges against him.
“I have always believed in your innocence”
“I want you to know that I have always believed in your innocence. I have also received letters from people around the world who believe in your innocence, “he added in his expressions before the judge in which he did not mention Floyd or his relatives.
The mother also stated that when Chauvin was prosecuted in the case, not only the life of the ex-police officer changed, but that of his entire family.
The woman called her son an “honorable” man with a “big heart” who puts the needs of others before his own, and an agent who was engaged with the Minneapolis Police Department.
“No matter where you go or where you are, I will always go where you,” said the woman who asked her offspring to stay strong.
The prosecution in the case had requested a minimum sentence of 30 years in jail citing several aggravating events such as Chauvin’s particular cruelty when submitting the detainee in front of witnesses, some minors.
Additionally, prosecutors argued that Chauvin abused his position of trust and authority when committing the act. They also stated that the convict committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least three people.
For its part, Chauvin’s defense argued that the former officer did not deserve to spend time in jail, for which he requested probation.
According to Nelson, his client is the victim of “a broken system”, and has no criminal record that would incline him to face a long prison sentence.
For his part, before reporting his decision, Cahill said that, although his decision was not based on sympathy or emotions, he acknowledges the pain that both families have experienced in the process, especially Floyd’s.
Chauvin was found guilty on April 20 two counts of murder and one of involuntary manslaughter for the fatal arrest of Floyd that was recorded on video and circulated on social networks since the event was reported on May 20, 2020.
The former agent faced up to 40 years in prison on the second-degree murder charge, the most serious of the three for which he was convicted.
For the third degree murder charge, he was exposed to a maximum sentence of 25 years, and up to 10 years for the second degree murder.
The victim’s family and his attorneys Ben Crump, Antonio Romanucci and Chris Stewart indicated, through a written statement, that with the sentence imposed on Chauvin we are one step further towards racial justice.
“This landmark ruling brings the Floyd family and the nation one step closer to healing by closing a chapter and awarding responsibility. For the first time, a police officer who wrongfully takes the life of a black man has been held accountable. Although this is not supposed to be extraordinary, tragically it is, ”they argued.