A Minnesota judge sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22.5 years in the death of George Floyd Friday.
Nationwide protests and riots erupted after a video emerged showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes in May 2020. Chauvin was convicted in April 2021 of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. (RELATED: Defense Witness Says Chauvin Used ‘Justified’ Amount Of Force Against George Floyd)
.@ABC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT: Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is sentenced in the murder of George Floyd.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 25, 2021
“This was nine-and-a-half minutes of cruelty,” prosecutor Matthew Frank told the court. “This was not the typical second-degree murder.”
Frank requested a 30-year sentence for Chauvin.
“The law does not differentiate between second-degree murders,” defense attorney Eric Nelson responded during his statement. “Two-thirds of the people in this situation received a guidelines sentence.”
Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend a 12.5-year sentence for second-degree murder, but Judge Peter Cahill found four aggravating factors in the case, meaning Chauvin could have been sentenced to more time, according to Axios. The maximum potential sentence was 40 years.
Multiple family members, including Floyd’s young daughter, offered impact statements. Floyd’s family requested the maximum sentence for Chauvin.
Chauvin did not offer a full statement at sentencing but did express his condolences to Floyd’s family.
Legal experts predicted that Cahill would sentence Chauvin to more than 12.5 years, though they predicted the judge would not impose the maximum sentence. Nelson filed a motion asking the court to sentence him to probation.
Hours before the sentencing, Cahill denied Chauvin’s motion for a new trial. Nelson filed the motion in early May and argued that Chauvin did not receive a fair trial because the proceedings were not moved out of Minneapolis and because the jury was not sequestered during the trial, NBC News reported. The jury was not sequestered until they began deliberating.
Nelson also said that intimidation of the defense witnesses increased “the potential for prejudice.” A former California police officer, Barry Brodd, had his former home vandalized with blood smears and a pig’s head after testifying that Chauvin’s use of force was “justified.”
The jury “committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations,” Nelson wrote in the motion.