Derek Chauvin Sentenced To 22 And Half Years In Prison For Murder Of George Floyd

A judge sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22 and a half years in prison on Friday for the murder of George Floyd during an arrest in May 2020, video of which galvanized a national protest movement against racism.


A jury found Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd. 

Chauvin's sentence was one of the longest given to a former police officer for using unlawful deadly force in the US. Keith Ellison, whose office prosecuted the case, told reporters that successful prosecutions of police officers in such cases have been rare.

"Today's sentencing is not justice but it is another moment of real accountability on the road to justice," Ellison said outside the courtroom, as she called for nationwide police reforms.


Floyd's brother Rodney, and nephew Brandon Williams criticized the sentence as a slap on the wrist.

"We were served a life sentence," Williams said outside the courthouse. "We can't get George back."


Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill said it was crucial to recognize the pain of the Floyd family.

"I'm not basing my sentence on public opinion," Cahill said. "I'm not basing it on the attempt to send any messages. The job of a trial court judge is to apply the law to specific facts and to deal with individual cases."

In a 22-page sentencing memorandum, Cahill gave weight to prosecution arguments that Chauvin acted with cruelty and abused his position of authority, aggravating factors that allowed him to give a harsher sentence than would be indicated by state sentencing guidelines for first-time offenders.

Prosecutors had asked for a 30-year prison sentence, which was double the upper limit shown in sentencing guidelines. The defense on the other hand, had asked for probation and had unsuccessfully sought a retrial ahead of an expected appeal.


A video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of the handcuffed Floyd for more than nine minutes surfaced on May 25, 2020, sparking outrage around the world and triggering the largest protest movement seen in the United States in decades.

Chauvin has been held at Minnesota's maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights since his conviction. It was not immediately clear where he would spend his sentence.

Despite his 22-year sentence, he could leave prison after about 15 years. Convicted people in Minnesota, can spend two-thirds of their sentence in prison and the final third on supervised release, on the basis of good behavior.


There were three other police officers involved in Floyd's arrest who were fired the day after. The three ex-officers are due for trial next year on charges of aiding and abetting Floyd's murder. Chauvin is also facing federal prosecution on charges of violating the civil rights of George Floyd.

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