Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22 years in prison

Chauvin briefly addressed the court but said he was unable to provide a full public statement because of pending legal matters.

Derek Chauvin addresses the court in June along with his attorney, Eric Nelson. (Alpha News/YouTube)

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 270 months in prison Friday for the murder of George Floyd. 

The 22½-year sentence is 10 years higher than the presumptive sentence of 12½ years. 

The emotional day in court began with statements from Floyd’s brothers and young daughter, and the first-ever public statement from Chauvin’s mother. 

“This case is at the epicenter of a cultural and political divide,” commented defense attorney Eric Nelson, who said the criminal justice system “cannot be permitted to be assailed by public opinion.” 

Chauvin briefly addressed the court but said he was unable to provide a full public statement because of pending legal matters. He did offer his condolences to the Floyd family. 

“The public will never know the loving and caring man that he is, but his family does,” his mother said. “When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me.” 

A jury found Chauvin guilty in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin’s attorney asked for a reduced sentence earlier this month, citing Chauvin’s lack of a criminal history, his stable support system, and the risks he will face in prison. 

Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office said four aggravating factors in the case demand a 30-year sentence, including an abuse of trust and authority, acting with particular cruelty, the presence of children, and committing the offense with the involvement of three or more other persons. 

“This is not the typical second-degree unintentional murder,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank. He referenced a Supreme Court ruling which found that just one aggravating factor is enough to double the sentence. 

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill denied Nelson’s motion for a new trial in a Thursday night ruling. Significant questions have been raised about whether Chauvin received a fair trial, aggravated by the post-trial revelation that one of the jurors was involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

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