Crime & courtsWorld

George Floyd trial: Derek Chauvin sentenced to over 22 years for murder

A court sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to decades in prison over the killing of George Floyd, whose death sparked outrage and global protests against racial injustice.

Derek Chauvin, a former police officer, was sentenced to prison for the murder of George Floyd on Friday.


He was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison — above what was called for in Minnesota state guidelines, but falling short of the 30 years requested by prosecutors.


In April, Chauvin was found guilty of killing Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, after kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes while arresting him in May last year.


Floyd’s death sparked outrage and protests against police violence and racial discrimination across the US and the world.


What happened in court?

While handing down the sentence, Judge Peter Cahill told Floyd’s family: “I acknowledge and hear the pain that you’re feeling.”


Addressing Chauvin, the judge said the sentence was “based on your abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd.”

Prior to the decision, Floyd’s relatives spoke out in favor of a harsh sentence for Chauvin at the court on Friday.


“We don’t want to see no more slaps on the wrist. We’ve been through that already,” one of his brothers, Terrence Floyd, said during the hearing.


He also spoke directly to Chauvin, asking him: “What were you thinking, what was going through your head, when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?”


In a video message, Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter, Gianna, said if she could say something to her father it would be: “I miss you and I love you.”


Chauvin also addressed the judge in a statement, offering his “condolences” to Floyd’s family.


Is the case finished?

While the sentencing has been seen as a momentous day, DW correspondent Stefan Simons noted that the legal proceedings against Chauvin aren’t over yet.


“There is an appeal expected. The defense has about 90 days to file an appeal,” he said from outside the courthouse in Minneapolis.

The second reason is that there is a federal case still pending against the former police officer.


“That is a civil rights case from federal prosecutors. There’s not even a court date for this,” Simons said.


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