Ex-cop Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22 and a half years for killing George Floyd

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A mural of George Floyd, who was murdered by ex-cop, Derek Chauvin.
A mural of George Floyd, who was murdered by ex-cop, Derek Chauvin.
Getty Images
  • Ex-cop Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 years for murdering George Floyd.
  • Members of Floyd's family delivered victim impact statements to the court before the judged handed down sentencing.
  • Floyd's murder sparked worldwide protesting against police brutality.

Former cop Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 years and six months for killing George Floyd.

Chauvin was convicted of killing Floyd in May 2020, an incident which inspired global demonstrations against police brutality in the US.

Judge Peter Cahill said he had written a 22-page memorandum as an attachment to the sentencing document. He said the sentence is "not based on emotion or sympathy... but, at the same time, I want to acknowledge the pain the families are feeling."

He said it was important to "acknowledge the pain of the Floyd family," adding that his sentence was not based on public opinion or as an attempt to "send a message". 

Chauvin and three colleagues arrested Floyd, 46, who was suspected of having passed a fake $20 bill at a shop in Minneapolis. The cops then handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground in the middle of the street.

Chauvin then squatted down with a knee on the back of Floyd's neck for nearly ten minutes, indifferent to the dying man's groans and to the pleas of distraught passers-by.

READ | George Floyd statue defaced in New York

He was convicted in April on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his role in Floyd's death. 

His three colleagues implicated in the matter are still before court.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Getty Images Ramsey County Sheriffs Office via Getty Images

The incident was filmed and quickly went viral online. 

Chauvin was earlier denied a request for a new trial, local media reported.


The sentencing began with victim impact statements from members of Floyd's family, including his young daughter, Gianna, and his cousin, Brandon Williams.

Williams, reading from a prepared speech, described Chauvin's actions as "unimaginable". He said Chauvin will have the "luxury" of seeing his family again, which Floyd's family will never have. 

NEW YORK, USA - JUNE 19: A George Floyd statue by
A George Floyd statue by artist Chris Carnabuci was unveiled as part of Juneteenth celebration in Brooklyn of New York.
Gallo Images Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Floyd's brother, Terrance, told the court that all he wanted to know from Chauvin was why he killed Floyd. "What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother's neck?"

A visibly emotional Terrance said that a month before Floyd's death he had a long phone conversation with Floyd to discuss play dates with their daughters. "I am here on behalf of me and my family, we seek the maximum penalty, we don't want to see anymore slaps on the wrists."

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Philonise Floyd (C), brot
Philonise Floyd (centre), brother of George Floyd, delivers remarks during a meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on the first anniversary of his death.
Gallo Images by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images

Floyd's other brother, Philonise, also presented a victim impact assessment. He asked the court to give Chauvin the maximum sentence. "We will never be able to get George back," he said. 

'Good man'

Chauvin's mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, had also addressed the court. She said the lives of her family members had changed after the incident in question. "It has been difficult for me to read and hear what [people] believe Derek to be... My son's identity has been reduced to that of a racist. I want this court to know that none of these things are true, and that my son is a good man."

She described Chauvin as a dedicated police officer, and a "selfless man... he has a big heart and always has put others before himself." She said she continues to support her son, saying that the entire ordeal has taken a toll on him.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 23: People march in the inau
People march in the inaugural remembrance rally and march hosted by the George Floyd Global Memorial, commemorating the first anniversary of his death, outside of the Hennepin County Government Center in May 2021.
Gallo Images Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Image

She asked the court to be lenient in sentencing. 

She said her happiest moment when she gave birth to Chauvin, and the second was when she pinned his police badge on his uniform. "I have always believed in your innocence and I will never waiver from that." 

Chauvin himself refused to address the court, but did give his sympathies to Floyd's family.

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