Former cop Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22 1/2 years for the murder of George Floyd

George Floyd Derek Chauvin

Chauvin was sentenced for second degree manslaughter, third degree murder and second degree murder.

A Minnesota judge on Friday sentenced former police officer Derek Chauvin to 22½ years in prison for the murder of George Floyd during a May 2020 arrest on a Minéapolis sidewalk, a crime that was recorded and the video of which sparked protests around of the world.

A jury found Chauvin, 45, guilty on April 20 of second-degree manslaughter, third-degree murder and second-degree murder after a trial that was hailed as a watershed moment in American police history.

Prosecutors had asked for a 30-year prison sentence, double the upper limit indicated in sentencing guidelines for a first-time offender. The defense had asked for parole.

The video of Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in handcuffs, for more than nine minutes, sparked the largest protest movement seen in the United States in decades.

Before the sentence was known, Judge Peter Cahill had already denied the defense’s last attempt to hold a new trial on the grounds that both the popular jury that in April found Chauvin guilty of all charges of murder for Floyd’s death as the process had been flawed.

Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, argued that his client had not had the right to a fair trial, since, among other issues, the popular jury “acted incorrectly” throughout the process due to “threats” and “intimidation”, as well as for the “racially motivated pressure” of the case.