Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 270 months – 22 and a half years – for the murder of George Floyd, with 199 days credit for time already served. Even though Chauvin was found guilty of three counts, under Minnesota law, he could only be sentenced on the most serious crime — second-degree murder.
“I ask about him all the time,” Gianna Floyd said of her father during her victim impact statement. “I miss him and I love him.”
The seven-year-old was the first of four family members to speak during Chauvin’s sentencing. When asked what she would do if she ever saw her dad again, she replied, “I want to play with him.”
Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, asked that the maximum penalty be imposed.
“What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?” Terrence Floyd asked Chauvin. Like Williams, he asked that his brother’s murderer receive the maximum sentence.
Philonise Floyd says nightmares of his older brother begging for his life haunt him to this day.
“George’s life mattered.” Philonise said. “My family and I have been given a life sentence, we will never be able to get George back.”
Hours before Chauvin was sentenced, Judge Peter Cahill denied the defense’s motion for a new trial and opted against a hearing regarding allegations of jury misconduct. Previously, the defense had asked for probation and sought a retrial ahead of an expected appeal. Chauvin’s lawyer has argued that his client was deprived of a fair trial because of prosecutorial and jury irregularities.
He faced up to 30 years in prison for the second-degree murder conviction, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter and/or a $20,000 fine. A ruling last month acknowledged aggravating factors at play when Floyd was murdered, which made additional time a possibility for the disgraced officer.
It has been a long – and highly publicized – road to justice for friends and family of Floyd. His killing, which led to global protests concerning race, social equality and the deadly use of force, may have likely gone uncontested had it not been for cellphone footage that captured his fatal encounter with police.
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