Derek Chauvin sentenced to over 20 years for death of George Floyd

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted last year of killing George Floyd, was sentenced Thursday to 21 years in prison on separate federal charges of violating Mr. Floyd’s civil rights during a May 2020 death arrest when a judge named the actions former police officer unscrupulous.
Chauvin, who pleaded guilty to federal charges in December, is already serving a 22-1/2 year sentence in a Minnesota prison for the murder of Mr Floyd following a state court trial last year. The federal sentence will run concurrently, and Chauvin will be transferred to a federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson announced the verdict in St. Paul, Minnesota, saying he would count Chauvin’s seven months already in state prison, excluding them from the 21-year federal sentence. His federal prison sentence will be followed by five years of probation.

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The judge called Chauvin’s actions offensive and shameless, according to notes given to the media by a reporter in one of the limited seats in the courtroom.
“Putting your knee on another person’s neck until they are dead is wrong and therefore you should be punished substantially,” Mr. Magnuson said.
Chauvin, 46, who is white, admitted to violating Mr Floyd’s right not to be subjected to “unreasonable capture” by kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man for more than 9 minutes during the cell phone videotaped murder. The death of Mr Floyd has led to protests in many cities across the US and around the world against police brutality and racism.

The judge also ordered Chauvin to pay restitution in an amount that has not yet been determined.

Chauvin’s decision to plead guilty prevented a second criminal trial against him, but almost certainly means he will spend more time behind bars.
As part of last year’s settlement with prosecutors, Chauvin also pleaded guilty to violating the rights of John Pope Jr., who was 14, when Chauvin repeatedly hit him in the head with a flashlight before kneeling on his neck during a violent arrest a few years prior. . The murder of Mr Floyd.
“I was treated like I wasn’t the man in Derek Chauvin’s hands,” Mr. Pope told the court, according to the reporter’s notes.

Philonise Floyd also addressed the court ahead of sentencing, saying his brother George Floyd’s death screams haunted his nightmares. He asked the judge to sentence Chauvin to life in prison.

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Chauvin said he acknowledges that it is difficult for the court to hear the case in a “politically charged environment” and that he wishes for Pope and Floyd’s children to lead productive and rewarding lives.
According to local media, Chauvin did not apologize. His mother also went to court, claiming her son had been wrongly slandered as a racist.
In a state court last year, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. People sentenced to prison for felonies in Minnesota are typically released on parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence.

Chauvin’s pleading guilty to civil rights charges was part of an agreement with prosecutors that would see him face 20 to 25 years in federal prison.

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In this agreement, he admitted for the first time that he was responsible for the death of Mr. Floyd. Federal prosecutors asked Magnuson to sentence Chauvin to 25 years in prison.
In the video, Mr Floyd could be seen begging for his life before he froze in the road under Chauvin’s knee.
Chauvin helped three fellow officers arrest Mr. Floyd in May 2020 on suspicion that Mr. Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes. The three — Tou Tao, J. Alexander Keung and Thomas Lane — were convicted in federal court in February of violating Mr. Floyd’s rights. They have not yet set a sentencing date.

The medical examiner determined that police restraints made it impossible for Floyd to breathe.