Derek Chauvin, the former police officer found guilty of murdering George Floyd last May, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Friday’s sentence comes two months after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter for killing Floyd.
Members of both Floyd’s and Chauvin’s family addressed the court through victim impact statements, which are taken into account for sentencing decisions. The first was video footage of Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter, who said she asks about her father all the time.
His brother Terrance Floyd also made a statement. “Over this last year and months—and I actually talked to a few people—I wanted to know from the man himself, Why?” Terrance said, visibly choked up. “What were you thinking? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?” He stopped to collect his emotions periodically during his address before saying he seeks a maximum penalty for Chauvin.
Trial prosecutor Matthew Frank thanked Floyd’s family for their participation in the trial before presenting his argument on Chauvin’s sentence. “The force used has to be proportionate to the threat,” he stated. But “Mr. Floyd was treated by Mr. Chauvin with particular cruelty. I think torture is the right word,” Frank argued.
“The defense has asked for probation. It’s so outside the realm of real possibility. This is a murder,” Frank said before recommending a sentence of 30 years.
Chauvin’s attorneys also presented their arguments, and Chauvin himself spoke briefly, indicating that there was more information pending that would be of interest to the family.
After calling for a 15-minute recess, Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 270 months, or 22.5 years in prison. This will be reduced by the 199 days he has spent in custody.