MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The ex-Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd has learned his fate. He will spend 22.5 years in prison.
In April, a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter for last year’s deadly arrest that sparked nationwide protests, riots and police reforms.READ MORE: Chauvin Trial Jurors: All Three Verdicts Were 'Based On The Evidence And The Facts, 100%'
Check out updates from Friday afternoon’s sentencing proceedings below:
UPDATE (3 p.m.): Judge Peter Cahill announces that Derek Chauvin will face 22.5 years in prison. Chauvin will need to also register as a predatory offender and will be prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition for the rest of his life.
WCCO’s Christiane Cordero reports that Cahill full sentencing order details that he balanced aggravating factors with Chauvin’s lack of a criminal record, as well as second-degree murder convictions over the past decade.
SENTENCING ORDER: Judge Cahill's sentencing order indicates that #DerekChauvin will need to register as a predatory offender, and will be prohibited from possessing firearms or ammo for the rest of his life. | READ MORE: https://t.co/XLuipkzuPG pic.twitter.com/X3ohMpiLQs
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) June 25, 2021
UPDATE (2:30 p.m.): “Due to legal matters, I’m not able to give a full formal statement … I give my condolences to the Floyd family, there’s gonna be some other information in the future that will be of interest and I hope these will give you some peace of mind.”
Those were the only words offered by Derek Chauvin at his sentencing, after being given the chance to speak by Judge Peter Cahill. It was unclear what “other information” Chauvin could have been referencing.
In asking the judge to consider not only aggravating factors but also mitigating ones, defense attorney Eric Nelson revealed that Chauvin was not even scheduled to work on May 25, 2020, but agreed to clock in because of short-staffing that holiday.
Nelson described the case’s impact on national consciousness and everyday life, but he asked the court to turn to foundational legal principles.
“Law is built on reason and common sense, and it cannot be permitted to be assailed by public opinion,” Nelson said.
UPDATE (2:15 p.m.): With the state having wrapped up its presentation of victim impact statements, the defense for Chauvin called his mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, to speak prior to his sentencing.
“It has been difficult for me to hear and read what the media, public, and prosecution team believe Derek to be an aggressive, heartless and uncaring person,” Chauvin’s mother said. “Derek, I want you to know I have always believed in your innocence, and I will never waver from that. I will be here for you when you come home.”
She looked her son in the eyes and said the happiest moment of her life was when she gave birth to him, and the second happiest when she pinned his police uniform.
“The public will never know the loving and caring man that he is but his family does. Even though I have not spoken publicly, I have always supported him 100% and I always will,” she said. “My son’s identity has also been reduced to that as a racist. I want this court to know that none of these things are true and that my son is a good man.”
She concluded by telling him that he is her favorite son.
UPDATE (2 p.m.): Minnesota’s Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank, presenting the state’s argument for sentencing, began thanking — in addition to the witnesses who testified, and Floyd’s family members — the police officers who also testified during the trial.
“Those officers didn’t hide behind a blue wall. They came forward, they told this court and those jurors, what they knew about training and responsibility,” Frank said. “This wasn’t about all officers. This wasn’t about policing. This case was about Derek Chauvin disregarding all that training he received and assaulting Mr. Floyd until he suffocated to death.”
Frank asked for a stricter sentence due to the aggravating factors, including the fact that Chauvin was in a position of authority.
“We think they justify a greatly increased sentence. This is not the typical second-degree unintentional murder,” he says. “This is not a momentary gunshot, punch to the face. This is 9½ minutes of cruelty to a man who was helpless and just begging for his life.”
UPDATE (1:45 p.m.): Sentencing began Friday afternoon with victim impact statements from four members of George Floyd’s family — two of his brothers, his nephew and his daughter.
Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell started the proceedings by presenting Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter Gianna, who presented her statement via video.
“I ask about him all the time,” she said. “I miss you and I love him.”
Blackwell also presented statements from brother Terrence Floyd and nephew Brandon Williams.
“Our family is forever broken,” Williams said, requesting Chauvin to receive the maximum penalty, a sentiment echoed by George Floyd’s brother.
“We don’t want to see no more slaps on the wrist. We’ve been through that already,” Terrence Floyd said before addressing Chauvin. “What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?”READ MORE: Veteran Falls Victim To Phishing Scam, Loses $19,000 From Chase Bank Account Meant For Daughter's College Education
Finally, brother Philonise Floyd was the last to give an impact statement, and he too asked for the judge to hand down the maximum sentence.
“For an entire year, I had to relive George being tortured to death,” he said. “My family and I have been given a life sentence. We will never be able to get George back.”
UPDATE (10 a.m.): Hours before the sentencing of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, a judge on Friday denied the defense’s motion for a new trial. He also denied the motion for a Schwartz hearing over possible jury misconduct.
Judge Peter Cahill ruled that defense attorney Eric Nelson did not show that the court abused its discretion or that there was prosecutorial misconduct that would have deprived Floyd of his right.
Nelson had asked for a new trial after Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. These requests are routine, but are rarely granted, and it’s expected Nelson will raise the same arguments on appeal.
Nelson argued that intense publicity around Floyd’s death tainted the jury pool and that the trial should have been moved away from Minneapolis. He also offered a range of other arguments, all dismissed by prosecutors, who said Chauvin was fairly convicted.
Chauvin’s sentencing remains on schedule for 1:30 p.m.
This ruling means the hearings won’t be happening, so things may move quickly at 1:30pm. At least four of #GeorgeFloyd’s family members will speak, #DerekChauvin will have a chance, and then the judge will sentence Chauvin. Prosecutors asked for 30. 40 is the max. https://t.co/D4tn5znYzc
— Jason DeRusha (@DeRushaJ) June 25, 2021
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, is slated to be sentenced Friday afternoon, more than a year after he fatally pressed his knee onto the Black man’s neck, sparking massive protests in the Twin Cities and a national reckoning on racism and police brutality.
Chauvin, 45, is scheduled to appear before Judge Peter Cahill in Hennepin County court at 1:30 p.m. Several factors are expected to play into the judge’s decision, as prosecutors have called for a 30-year sentence and Chauvin’s attorney has asked for probation, with no prison time. At least four members of Floyd’s family are expected to give victim impact statements. They also want Chauvin to be sentenced to 30 years behind bars.
“This is the most consequential case in modern Minnesota history, really throughout the United States,” said criminal defense attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not affiliated with the case. “What we are about to see today is its conclusion.”
HOW TO WATCH & FOLLOW: Special live coverage of court proceedings, including Chauvin’s 1:30 p.m. sentencing, will be on-air and streamed on CBSN Minnesota. You can also check for updates on WCCO.com and by following our social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter.
The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020. Under Minnesota statutes, Chauvin will be sentenced only on the most serious charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 40 years behind bars.
Per state sentencing guidelines, Chauvin’s conviction typically fits a 12 and-a-half year sentence. However, the judge has already determined that there were aggravating factors in this case, writing that Chauvin abused his position of authority, treated Floyd with particular cruelty and committed the crime in the presence of children. Those factors could add decades to Chauvin’s sentence.
Tamburino, the defense attorney, expects the judge to sentence Chauvin to 25 years behind bars, but not more than 30. He explained: “If Mr. Chauvin was convicted of an intentional murder…he’d be looking at 25 years, which is 300 months. So if the judge gave him more than 25 years, the judge would in effect give him more than had he intended to kill Mr. Floyd. Remember, [Chauvin] was only convicted of unintentional crimes. So I think that the judge might go to that level or above, but not much more above that.”
Whatever time Chauvin is sentenced to, he could get out of prison on good behavior after serving two-thirds of that time. For example, if he is sentenced to 30 years, as prosecutors are asking, he could get out in 20 years.
Chauvin may address the court before his sentencing. However, legal experts say it’s unlikely, as it could affect the pending federal case against him for violating Floyd’s civil rights. During his weekslong trial earlier this year, Chauvin declined to take the stand.
Before Chauvin’s sentence is read, the judge will hear impact statements from Floyd’s relatives and from the community. In an unusual move, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison asked the public, from Minnesota and beyond, to submit impact statements online. At least a few of them are expected to be read in court.
Today, #DerekChauvin gets sentenced. All is quiet outside of court — no National Guard, no barricades, 6th St is open.
— Christiane Cordero (@ChristianeWCCO) June 25, 2021
During the ex-officer’s trial in April, Minnesota National Guard troops patrolled Minneapolis, and the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown was ringed with concrete barricades. Tensions were high before the jury’s three guilty verdicts were read, and authorities feared a repeat of last summer’s unrest, which left hundreds of buildings in the Twin Cities damaged, ransacked or burned to the ground.
On Friday morning, however, there were no barricades or razor wire outside the courthouse, only an increased police presence. People are expected to gather at the courthouse for Chauvin’s sentencing, and demonstrations are planned for the evening. The Hennepin County Government Center is closed to the public for the day.
Floyd, 46, died in police custody outside a south Minneapolis convenience store, where he allegedly tried to pass a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes. When Floyd refused to get into a squad car, police placed him on the ground, and Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly 10 minutes, even as Floyd pleaded for air. A breathing expert who testified in court said that the combination of Floyd lying prone with Chauvin on top of him made it nearly impossible for Floyd to take in air.
Three other former Minneapolis police officers are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Their trial is scheduled for March. Chauvin and the other officers are also awaiting trial on federal civil rights charges.
Bystander video of the fatal arrest, which was captured by teenage girl, sparked days of mass protest and nights of rioting in the Twin Cities. The video also prompted a national discussion on racial inequity and policing that continues to this day.
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