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Derek Chauvin Has Been Sentenced To 22 Years In Prison.
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Derek Chauvin Has Been Sentenced To 22 Years In Prison.

Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison on Friday for the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 by a Minnesota judge.

Chauvin was convicted in April of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter, in Floyd's death and has since been held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights, the state's only maximum-security prison located about 25 miles east of Minneapolis.

The former officer stood up to speak to the court for the first time shortly before his sentence was handed down.

“I want to express my condolences to the Floyd family,” Chauvin said, adding that he was unable to provide a “full, formal statement” due to “some additional legal matters at hand.” He ended on a cryptic note.

“There will be some other information that will be of interest in the future, and I hope that things will give you some peace of mind,” Chauvin told the Floyd family.

Chauvin, a white officer, was one of three officers who pinned Floyd, a Black man, facedown on a street during an arrest attempt, and knelt on Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds while Floyd repeatedly stated that he couldn't breathe and eventually stopped breathing.

Before the sentencing, four members of Floyd's family testified in court, including his young daughter, Gianna, who recalled her father helping her brush her teeth every night before bed.

In a video shown to the court, Gianna said, “I miss you and I love you.”

Terrence and Philonise Floyd, along with a nephew, Brandon Williams, petitioned Judge Peter Cahill to sentence Chauvin to the maximum sentence.

Terrence Floyd stated that his family was now part of a group of Black people whose loved ones had been killed by police in America, adding, "It's not one of those fraternities that you enjoy." He then asked the judge, "What were you thinking? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother's neck?"

Floyd's death sparked months of nationwide protests, as well as an international reckoning with police brutality and racial injustice.

Judge Peter Cahill denied a defense motion for a new trial just hours before Friday's sentencing, ruling that Chauvin's team failed to show prosecutorial or juror misconduct.

Prosecutors requested that Cahill sentence Chauvin to at least 30 years in prison in a memorandum filed earlier this month, while Chauvin's legal team requested probation or a shorter prison term.

Cahill, who presided over Chauvin's high-profile trial, ruled last month that the former officer could face an aggravated prison sentence, which is harsher than Minnesota's sentencing guidelines, because Chauvin abused his position of authority and treated Floyd with particular cruelty.

The court heard for the first time on Friday from Chauvin's mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, who read a statement about her son's childhood dream of becoming a police officer as well as how he has been portrayed in the media.

“The public will never know what a loving and caring man he is, but his family does,” Pawlenty said, adding, “Even though I have never spoken publicly, I have always supported him 100 percent and will continue to do so.”

Chauvin's legal problems are far from over; in early June, he was ordered into federal custody pending federal charges related to Floyd's death.

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