Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd, whose dying gasps under Chauvin’s knee led to the biggest outcry against racial injustice in the U.S. in generations.
The punishment handed out Friday fell short of the 30 years that prosecutors had requested. With good behavior, Chauvin, 45, could be paroled after serving two-thirds of his sentence, or about 15 years.
Former police Officer Derek Chauvin broke his long courtroom silence Friday as he faced sentencing for the murder of George Floyd, offering condolences to Floyd’s family and saying he hopes more information coming out will give them “some peace of mind.”
Chauvin, who did not testify at his trial, removed his COVID-19 and turned toward the Floyd family, speaking only briefly because of what he called “some additional legal matters at hand” , an apparent reference to the federal civil rights trial he still faces.
Floyd’s family members took the stand and expressed sorrow about his death. They asked for the maximum penalty. Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for up to 9 1/2 minutes as the 46-year-old Black man gasped that he couldn’t breathe and went limp.
Chauvin has been held since his conviction at the state’s maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights, where he has been kept in a cell by himself for his own protection, his meals brought to him.
The three other officers are scheduled for trial in March on state charges of aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter.