Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill sentenced the former Minneapolis police officer to 22 1/2 years in prison on Friday for the May 2020 killing of George Floyd.
Chauvin was convicted in April on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Family members – including Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter Gianna and Chauvin’s mother Carolyn Pawlenty – read statements on behalf of the prosecution and the defense ahead of the sentencing. An earlier request by Chauvin’s defense team for a new trial was denied on Friday by Judge Cahill.
In April, Chauvin was found guilty of killing Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, after kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes while arresting him in May last year.Floyd’s death sparked outrage and protests against police violence and racial discrimination across the US and the world.
While handing down the sentence, Judge Peter Cahill told Floyd’s family: “I acknowledge and hear the pain that you’re feeling.”Addressing Chauvin, the judge said the sentence was “based on your abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd.”Prior to the decision, Floyd’s relatives spoke out in favor of a harsh sentence for Chauvin at the court on Friday.
“We don’t want to see no more slaps on the wrist. We’ve been through that already,” one of his brothers, Terrence Floyd, said during the hearing.
He also spoke directly to Chauvin: “What were you thinking, what was going through your head, when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?”