Derek Chauvin offered up a very brief statement in court today just minutes before receiving his sentence. He said he couldn’t say much because of “additional legal matters at hand.” He did offer his condolences, then offered up this cryptic message, “there is going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope some things will give you some peace of mind.”
BREAKING: Derek Chauvin addresses the court at his sentencing in the murder of George Floyd.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 25, 2021
Moments later Chauvin was sentenced to 270 months or 22.5 years behind bars for murdering George Floyd. The former Minneapolis police officer learned his fate Friday, eight weeks after a jury found him guilty of killing Floyd when he kneeled on the man’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds back in May 2020. Before sentencing, there were four people connected to Floyd who presented victim statements. This included his 7-year-old daughter, Gianna.
Gianna Floyd, daughter of George, speaks at Derek Chauvin’s sentencing hearing, asked “if you could say anything to your daddy right now, what would it be?”
“It would be I miss you and I love him.” pic.twitter.com/Be8XWs0ySj
— The Recount (@therecount) June 25, 2021
Floyd’s brothers Terrence and Philonise Floyd also offered tearful statements.
NEW: Philonise Floyd speaks to judge at Derek Chauvin sentencing: "My niece, Gianna—she needs closure. I'm asking that you please find it suitable to give Officer Chauvin the maximum sentence possible…My family and I have been given a life sentence." https://t.co/FtVjuKYSje pic.twitter.com/E1YAJQdBxh
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) June 25, 2021
WATCH: George Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, gives a victim impact statement at Derek Chauvin’s sentencing. “I wanted to know from the man himself. Why? What were you thinking?” #DerekChauvinSentencing pic.twitter.com/cMfKbxw4Kw
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) June 25, 2021
Chauvin’s mother also got a chance to plead with the judge. She didn’t mention George Floyd or his family during her remarks.
Derek Chauvin's mother Carolyn Pawlenty says before sentencing that he is a "good man"
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 25, 2021
In April, Chauvin was found guilty on three counts, but since all three dealt with the same crime, the 45-year-old was only sentenced for the most serious charge, second-degree murder. That conviction carried a potential prison sentence of up to 40 years, but for first-time offenders, the guidelines call for up to 12 1/2 years or 150 months.
Prosecutors had asked Judge Peter Cahill for 30 years behind bars, while Chauvin’s attorney requested probation. One thing that prompted a longer sentence had to do with aggravating factors. The AP writes:
Cahill last month agreed with prosecutors that aggravating factors in Floyd’s death warrant going higher than the guidelines. The judge found that Chauvin abused his position of authority, treated Floyd with particular cruelty, and that the crime was seen by several children. He also wrote that Chauvin knew the restraint of Floyd was dangerous.
Reaction to the sentence is mixed.
Rev. Al Sharpton on Derek Chauvin 22.5-year sentence: "Had they done sentences like this before, maybe Chauvin would not have thought he would have gotten away with it." https://t.co/IuuRKnTv3s pic.twitter.com/vw7mGKzXvh
— ABC News (@ABC) June 25, 2021
Reporter: Do you have any reaction to Derek Chauvin being sentenced to 22.5 years in prison?
President Biden: "I don't know all of the circumstances that are considered, but it seems to me, under the guidelines, that seems to be appropriate." pic.twitter.com/LZkqpSqOHM
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 25, 2021
I know people doing sentences longer than this for victimless crimes of drug possession.
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) June 25, 2021
Since his trial, Chauvin has been held at Oak Park Heights, a maximum-security prison in Stillwater, Minnesota. He has reportedly spent 23 hours a day in solitary confinement for his own safety.