Tori B. Powell – CBS News
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, has been sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison, bringing an apparent end to the case that outraged millions across the country and reignited protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
Judge Peter Cahill of Hennepin County District Court handed down the sentence, which fell short of prosecutors’ request of 30 years in prison. Still, the family of Floyd applauded the sentence, saying it was a sign that unjust killings at the hands of police were being taken seriously.
“The sentence handed down today to the Minneapolis police officer who killed my brother George Floyd shows that matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously,” Floyd’s sister, Bridgett, said in a statement. “However, we have a long way to go and many changes to make before Black and Brown people finally feel like they are being treated fairly and humanely by law enforcement in this country.”
In April, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin has been held at the state’s only maximum-security prison. Hours before the hearing, the judge denied Chauvin’s motion for a new trial, saying his attorney failed to prove abuses from the court as well as prosecutorial or juror misconduct.
“I want to play with him”: Floyd’s daughter Gianna says
Family members of George Floyd are making victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing. Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter, Gianna, was the first to speak Friday.
“I want to play with him,” she said in a video shown in court on Friday. Gianna said she misses her father and recalled having dinner with him each night before bed.
If she could tell her father anything it would be, “I miss you and I love you.”
She said she wishes her father was still alive but said he is still with her in spirit.
Floyd’s brothers call for maximum sentence
In his statement, George Floyd’s brother, Terrence, called for the maximum penalty in Chauvin’s sentencing Friday.
“What was going through your head when you had your neck on my brother’s neck?” he asked.
Philonise, another of Floyd’s brothers, also called for maximum sentencing, mentioning that Floyd will miss major milestones of his daughter Gianna’s life.
Floyd’s nephew, Brandon, said the murder of his relative has “traumatized us.”
“The full extent of our pain and trauma will never be seen with the naked eye. The heartbreak and hurt goes beyond any number of tears we could ever cry,” Brandon said. “George’s murder, his trial and everything in between has been tragic and devastating. Our family is forever broken.”
Chauvin’s mother calls for shorter sentence: “A lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well”
Derek Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, said her son is a good man and pleaded for a shorter sentence. “When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me,” Pawlenty said.
She described Chauvin as “thoughtful, honourable and selfless,” and said his conviction has taken a toll on him and their family. “He has a big heart and he always has put others before his own,” she said.
Chauvin offers condolences to Floyd’s family
Chauvin made brief comments in court Friday and expressed his condolences to Floyd’s family.
“Due to additional matters at hand, I am not able to give a full formal statement at this time, but very briefly though, I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family. There is going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest and, I hope things would give you some peace of mind — thank you.
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