Today, Judge Peter Cahill sentences Derek Chauvin to 22.5 years for the death of George Floyd. Chauvin is a 45 year old former police officer. A jury convicted Chauvin on April 20, 2021. After nearly a year of deliberation. Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, leaving him totally incapacitated. Medical personnel pronounced Floyd dead on arrival.
Mr. Floyd’s daughter gave the first victim impact statement via phone. His Nephew gave his statement in person and his pain was obvious. Mr. Terrence Floyd spoke third as he composed himself to find words. Terrence likened his experience to being in an unwanted fraternity. He also posed a rhetorical question to Chauvin, “Why”. Philonise Floyd spoke last. He likened his brother’s death to an execution and torture. He along with his brother asked for the maximum sentence possible, consecutively without parole.
Special Prosecutor Matthew Frank spoke, and appeared to be holding back emotion himself. He thanked several members of the Law Enforcement community. He thanked other first responders and Mr. Floyd’s family and friends. Mr. Frank outlined the aggravating factors for Judge Cahill to consider in sentencing.
Mr. Chauvin himself offered condolences to the Floyd Family.
The Judge attached a 22 page memo to the sentence.
Cup Foods staff called the police when Floyd allegedly attempted to use a counterfeit bill to pay for goods last May.
Judge Cahill ruled Thursday night that Chauvin “failed to demonstrate … the Court abused its discretion or committed error such that Defendant was deprived of his constitutional right to a fair trial.”
The State is asking for 30 years. Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney, argued that the former officer should instead receive probation and time served.
Statements Made on Chauvin’s Behalf
Chauvin’s mother also spoke at the sentencing hearing. She indicated that he is not heartless, and that he is not a racist. Eric Nelson spoke last. He focused on the history of Mr. Chauvin.
Brief Background on George Floyd
Floyd grew up in Houston, playing football and basketball throughout high school and college. Hip hop music was his genre of choice until he took an internship as a mentor to young people struggling with their faith.