Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd

MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced Friday to 270 months, or 22 1/2 years, in prison for the murder of George Floyd last year.

Chauvin, 45, is expected to serve about 15 years behind bars.

“What the sentence is not based on is emotion or sympathy, but at the same time, I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family,” Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said in court.

In his memorandum opinion, Cahill said two of four aggravating factors were at play in the sentence – that Chauvin abused trust and authority and acted with particular cruelty toward Floyd. His “gratuitous infliction of pain and psychological cruelty” while he was “imbued with the authority of the state” justified the sentence, Cahill wrote.

According to Cahill’s memo, Chauvin will be required to register as a predatory offender and provide a DNA sample.

A jury convicted Chauvin in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd, 46. He could have received up to 30 years in prison.

Floyd family members, attorneys, and activists said they were not satisfied with the sentence but hoped an ongoing federal indictment would put Chauvin away for life. Many called on lawmakers to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

“Twenty-two-and-a-half is not enough,” George Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, said at a press conference after the hearing, surrounded by lawyers and family members of several Black people shot by police. “What kind of message are we sending to our country?”

Many said the sentence was “not justice.”

“It is not justice because George Floyd is in a grave tonight even though Chauvin will be in jail,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said. “Justice would have been George Floyd never having been killed. Justice would have been the maximum (sentence). We got more than we thought only because we’ve been disappointed before.”

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