Derek Chauvin was sentenced to just more than 20 years in prison Thursday (July 7), nearly seven months after he pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating George Floyd’s civil rights when he knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9½ minutes as he was detaining him in May 2020. The judge called Chauvin’s treatment of George “offensive and “unconscionable”.
Just Because Floyd Was Black…
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of the murder of George Floyd, was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison on Thursday on federal charges. Before handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson called Chauvin’s treatment of Floyd “offensive” and “unconscionable.”
“I really don’t know why you did what you did. But to put your knee on another person’s neck until they expire is simply wrong and for that conduct, you must be substantially punished,” the judge said.
Derek Chauvin arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy a pack of cigarettes. The former Minneapolis cop, who was 19 years old back then, was captured in a video that went viral kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes until he passed out and died.
Federal prosecutors had asked Magnuson to sentence Chauvin to 25 years, on the high end of the 20- to 25-year range of the plea agreement, saying Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer and acted callously.
The defense had asked for 20 years, saying Chauvin was remorseful for what he did and that he has accepted responsibility. Magnuson sentenced Chauvin to 21 years in prison, with credit for the time he has already served, bringing his sentence to 20 years and five months.
Well, Derek is already serving a 22½-year sentence after he was found guilty of second and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter, in April 2021 in a state case for the death of Floyd. His federal sentence will be served concurrently.
Derek Did Not Apologize…
Derek Chauvin, a white former cop, may have spoken briefly before the sentencing but did not apologize for his actions. Addressing Floyd’s children, he said: “I just want to say that I wish them all the best in their life and have excellent guidance in becoming great adults.”
One of George Floyd’s brothers, Philonise Floyd, delivered a “victim impact” statement and asked for a life sentence for Chauvin. He said he suffered from nightmares because of his brother’s death.
However, Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, pleaded for leniency. “I believe it is God’s will for all of us to forgive,” she told the court. “Everyone in Minnesota needs to heal and to know that all lives matter, no matter the colour of your skin.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison welcomed the sentence and called it “another step of accountability on the road to justice.” Ellison said it “sent a message to Minnesotans, all Americans, and law enforcement agencies around the country that crime like this will not be tolerated.”
Chauvin has appealed his Minnesota state murder conviction but his sentencing on the federal charges will ensure he will spend two decades in prison regardless of the outcome of his appeal.