Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who killed George Floyd in 2020, was sentenced Thursday to more than 20 years in prison by a federal court. Chauvin was already sentenced to 22.5 years in prison in June 2021 for the murder of Floyd.
The federal lawsuit for which Chauvin was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison yesterday was specifically about violating Floyd’s civil rights. Chauvin did not admit guilt in September but risked life as a result. That is why, in December, he decided to choose eggs for his money by pleading guilty, which meant that he could receive a maximum sentence of ‘only’ 25 years. Chauvin made that deal with the US Attorney General.
The prosecutors asked Judge Paul Magnuson to sentence Chauvin to a 25-year sentence, because Chauvin’s actions were “cold-blooded” and he had abused his power as a police officer. Chauvin’s lawyer asked for a 20-year prison sentence and said Chauvin was remorseful for what he did and that he would prove it in his conviction. Chauvin, however, showed no regrets on Thursday for his actions and did not apologize during the hearing. “I just want to say I wish them all the best in their lives and I hope they become wonderful adults,” was all Chauvin had to say to Floyd’s children in a brief statement.
“I really don’t understand why you did what you did. But to put your knee on someone’s neck until they die is just wrong. You should be severely punished for that behaviour, ” the judge said when handing out the sentence.
George Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on his neck for minutes during an arrest. In addition to Chauvin, two other police officers pressed Floyd’s back, while a fourth officer kept bystanders away. Despite Floyd repeatedly stating that he couldn’t breathe, the officers continued to lean on him.
Images of the arrest spread around the world and sparked violent protests against racism and police brutality everywhere. “I can’t breathe” became the slogan of the American Black Lives Matter movement, referring to the words Floyd uttered during the deadly arrest.
Chauvin is already serving a 22.5-year sentence after the state of Minnesota convicted him in June of the murder of George Floyd. Chauvin’s federal sentence will run concurrently with the 22.5-year sentence he previously received for Floyd’s murder. Chauvin will also be transferred from a state prison to a federal prison, which are often considered safer.
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