Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Derek Chauvin to 22 1/2 years in the murder of George Floyd. The disgraced former Minneapolis Police Officer was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in April 2020 of murdering George Floyd. Four members of the Floyd family spoke at the sentencing.
THE FAMILY OF GEORGE FLOYD SPEAKS.
George Floyd’s 8-year-old daughter, Gianna via video talked about how much she missed her father. She said she wonders how her dad got hurt and wished he were still here. She said when she sees him again, she wants to play with him. Brandon Williams, Floyd’s nephew, said, “The heartbreak and hurt go far beyond any number of tears we could ever cry. Words simply cannot express the pain, anguish, and suffering that our family and friends have endured since George’s murder. It has been truly unimaginable.”
Visibly shaken, Floyd’s brother, Terrance Floyd, addressed Derek Chauvin saying, “Why? What were you thinking when you had your knee on my brother’s neck? The last victim impact statement was read by George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, who said “Every day, I have begged for justice to be served, reliving the execution of George while others begged and pleaded for officer Chauvin to simply just allow George to take a breath. I haven’t had a real night’s sleep because of the nightmares I constantly have, hearing my brother beg and plead for his life over and over again. Even saying, ‘they’re going to kill me, please, officer,’ screaming for our mom.”
“If it was us, if the roles were reversed, there wouldn’t be no case. It would have been open and shut. We’d have been under the jail for murdering somebody. So, we ask for that same penalty for Derek Chauvin.”-Terrance Floyd
Derek Chauvin sat emotionless wearing a face mask while victim impact statements were read. Minnesota Assistant Attorney General, Matthew Frank outlined the state’s reasoning behind requesting a higher sentence for Chauvin. The Assistant Attorney General asked the judge to exceed sentencing guidelines and give Chauvin 30 years in prison. “This case was about Derek Chauvin disregarding all that training he received and assaulting Mr. Floyd until he suffocated to death”.
THE DEFENSE ASKS FOR LENIENCY
Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty spoke on behalf of her family saying, “When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me. Derek devoted 19 years of his life to the Minneapolis Police Department. It has been difficult for me to read and hear what the media, public, and prosecution team believe Derek to be an aggressive heartless uncaring person, I can tell you that is far from the truth, my son’s identity has also been reduced to that as a racist. I want this court to know that none of these things are true and my son is a good man.”
In his first remarks to the court, Derek Chauvin extended his condolences to the family but did not make any additional remarks to the court. Derek Chauvin who was caught on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for over nine minutes never testified on his behalf during the trial. Jurors deliberated for over 10 hours before returning a guilty verdict.
The prosecution has asked for a 30-year sentence, but the defense asked for probation and time served. The murder of George Floyd set off national protests and debate on policing in the United States.
Derek Chauvin faced up to 40 years in prison. He is expected to appeal his case.
Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSanders20.