Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced Friday to 270 months in prison — or 22½ years — for the 2020 murder of George Floyd.
Judge Peter Cahill delivered the sentence — which fell short of the 360-month maximum — in the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Cahill, who presided over Chauvin’s murder trial earlier this year, noted that Chauvin will be credited with 190 days already served.
“I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family. You have our sympathies and I acknowledge and hear the pain that you’re feeling,” said the judge, though he noted his decision was not based on emotion, public opinion, or “an attempt to send any messages.”
Prior to the sentencing, Chauvin offered his “condolences” to the Floyd family.
In April, the former Minneapolis cop was found guilty on all three counts of murder and manslaughter for his role in the killing of Floyd. Chauvin, who faced charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, was remanded into custody following the sentencing in April. He has been detained since.
He faced a maximum sentence of 40 years behind bars. The prosecution requested 30 years’ imprisonment, while the defense requested probation.
Cahill delivered his sentence after four victim impact statements were delivered, including a video from Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter Gianna. Floyd’s nephew and brothers also spoke, requesting the maximum sentence. “My family and I have been given a life sentence. We will never be able to get George back,” said Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd, who cried as he spoke.
Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, also spoke before the sentencing, saying it’s “far from the truth” that her son is “heartless” or “aggressive.” She did not mention Floyd’s name or address his family. “I want this court to know that none of these things are true and that my son is a good man,” Pawlenty said as she urged the judge not to impose a lengthy sentence. “Derek always dedicated his life and time to the police department. Even on his days off, he would call in to see if they needed help.”
In May, Chauvin filed a petition for a new trial. His lawyer argued that Judge Cahill’s refusal to change venues and the publicity surrounding the case deprived Chauvin of a fair trial. The attorney also cited jury misconduct, specifically the court’s failure to sequester the jury from publicity and what the motion describes as, “jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors.”
Floyd’s May 2020 murder was captured in a cellphone video that later went viral, sparking protests worldwide. Chauvin, who is white, could be seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes during an arrest after he allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store.