MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — 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.
Judge Peter Cahill told Floyd’s family members that “I acknowledge and hear the pain that you’re feeling,” before sentencing a former Minneapolis police officer to 22.5 years in prison for murder.
Cahill said he would issue a 22-page memorandum explaining his rationale for the sentence, saying it’s “not the appropriate time” to be “profound or clever.” His sentence went 10 years beyond what was called for in sentencing guidelines. Cahill said that was “based on your abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd.”
Cahill said his ruling wasn’t based on “emotion or sympathy,” but he acknowledged the widespread pain that Floyd’s death has caused for the community.
“I acknowledge the pain not only of those in this courtroom, but the Floyd family who are outside this courtroom and other members of the community,” Cahill said. “It has been painful throughout Hennepin County, throughout the state of Minnesota, and even the country.”