Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who killed African-American George Floyd on a Minneapolis street last year, was sentenced Friday to 22.5 years in prison.
Chauvin spoke briefly before the sentencing, expressing “condolences to Floyd’s family.” Under Minnesota law, Chauvin would have to serve two-thirds of his sentence, or 15 years, to be eligible for parole.
The sentence exceeds Minnesota’s recommended sentencing range of 10 years and eight months to 15 years for such a crime. Floyd’s death sparked widespread protests across the country about police brutality.
Judge Peter Cahill said the sentence was not based on emotion or public opinion. He wanted to “acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain felt by all families, especially Floyd’s family.”
In the 22-page decision, Cahill wrote that two aggravating circumstances warranted a harsher sentence: Chauvin “abused his trust or authority” and treated Floyd “with extreme cruelty.” The judge wrote that the former police officer treated Floyd without respect and deprived him of the inherent dignity of all people.
Cahill said the former officer “objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd’s pleas, even though he begged for his life and was obviously frightened by the realization that he might die.”