Monday afternoon, the Hennepin County Courthouse handed down the sentencing for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd. On April 20, Chauvin was charged, and convicted, of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin’s actions sent shockwaves throughout the world, sparking countless protests aimed at speaking out against Floyd’s death. The convictions on all charges was hailed as a victory for civil rights activists, as one of the first guilty verdicts in a major case involving police brutality.
After his conviction, the lawyers for the former Minneapolis police officer requested a new trial, believing that Chauvin was denied a fair trial, citing “prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial”. However, this request was denied by Judge Peter Cahill.
These charges carried a maximum sentence of 40 years. Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison. Though it was not the maximum sentence, it was 10 additional years from what is required by the state’s sentencing guidelines. As Chauvin was proved to have abused his position of trust, exhibited particular cruelty, children were present, and finally Chauvin committed the crime as a group, according to Judge Peter Cahill.
Although a sentence was reached, Chauvin also faces other federal charges regarding a violation of Mr. Floyd’s constitutional rights.