ST PAUL, Minn. — A white Minneapolis police officer was sentenced Thursday to 21 years in federal prison for killing a black man outside a convenience store that sparked protests around the world, signaling a new readiness to hold police officers criminally accountable. For misconduct.
The former officer, Derek Chavin, 46, was convicted of using excessive force under the law against both George Floyd, who died in the encounter, and Black, a 14-year-old boy who was injured in an unrelated encounter. , though similar, incident.
With time already spent, Mr. Chauvin’s sentence was 20 years and five months, close to the 20 to 25-year range recommended by sentencing guidelines. His federal and state sentences are to be served concurrently.
“I don’t know why you did it, but putting your knee on another person’s neck until they expire is simply wrong, and you should be punished significantly for that behavior,” said Paul, sentencing Judge Paul Magnuson of U.S. District Court in St. Louis. And you completely destroyed the lives of the three young officers involved,” the judge added.
Mr. Chauvin Mr. Meeting with Floyd In May 2020, became a blatant example of police brutality and sparked outrage. Demands for racial equality In hundreds of cities. Mr. During the attempt to arrest Floyd, Mr. Chou’s Mr. He followed Floyd down the street for more than nine minutes. I couldn’t breathe” The Minneapolis Police Department initially said he died of a “medical incident.”
In a federal plea deal, Mr. Chauvin, Mr. He admitted to using excessive force against Floyd, and in a similar incident in 2017, a teenager named John Pope assaulted him, according to his mother. Mr. Although Pope “did not make any aggressive moves” toward the responding officers, according to the agreement, Mr. Chauvin hit him repeatedly with a flashlight and kept him down with his knees for over 15 minutes.
“I was treated like a non-human being at the hands of Derek Chaw,” Mr. said the Pope. “He made a choice and didn’t care about the outcome. By God’s grace I lived to see another day.
Mr. Pope said he tried hard to get good grades and Mr. She said that she had planned to go to college before her encounter with Chauvin killed him, and that she felt powerless.
Mr. Floyd’s brother Philonis Floyd, Mr. He urged the court to give Chauvin the maximum sentence. “I don’t get real sleep at night because I keep having nightmares of my brother begging and begging for his life over and over again,” she said.
As he pleaded guilty in two meetings, Mr. Prosecutors also argued that Chou should receive the maximum sentence.
“He’s not a newbie,” LeAnn Kay said. Bell, Assistant US Attorney. “He is not a new police officer. He knows what his training is. He has admitted in this court that he knew what he was doing was wrong and he did it anyway.
Having made few public comments since his arrest, Mr. Chauvin addressed the court, although he did not apologize for his actions.
He and his lawyer, Eric J. Nelson also tried to portray Mr Chauvin as a victim of the prevailing political climate. “Your honor, I recognize the difficult and unpleasant task of this case – following legal standards in a political environment must be very trying,” Mr. Chauvin said.
He wished Mr Pope “a good relationship with your mother” and “the opportunity to get a good education to lead a productive and fulfilling life”. Mr. He told Floyd’s children, “I wish them the best in life and the best guidance they can have as adults.”
Mr. Chou’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, spoke on her son’s behalf at the state trial as he was sentenced. She cited her 20 years of service to the Minneapolis Police Department and said many of its members “failed to support their own,” an apparent reference to her son’s actions and testimony against fellow officers.
She said her son has received thousands of cards expressing support, enough to fill a room in her home.
Understand the trials stemming from the death of George Floyd
Mr. The plea agreement recommended that Chauvin’s federal sentence be the same length as his state sentence of 20 to 25 years, and would allow him to serve his time in a federal prison where he would be less likely to meet those he helped convict. When he was an officer.
Mr. Three other officers were involved in Floyd’s fatal arrest: J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, two rookies, and Du Tao, the most experienced officer, Mr. Along with Chauvin, they arrived on the scene to provide backup. Bystander video of the encounter went viral and the four officers were quickly fired.
They too Faced with federal civil rights charges In addition to state murder charges, Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and law professor at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities, said there are more than procedural safeguards against acquittals or successful appeals in state court.
“The central government is issuing a statement that this case is of national importance,” he said. “And it’s a belief in something beyond what we’ve seen in the state — it’s not just the killing of George Floyd, it’s about taking away civil rights.”
Attorney General Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the prosecutor on the state charges, said Mr. Chauvin also said it was appropriate that he faced federal civil rights charges. “Federal prosecutors took this case because this was not a common crime: it was an intentional deprivation of life and liberty, which is a crime under federal law,” he said in a statement.
Mr. When Chauvin first faced state charges, three of his colleagues Convicted on federal civil rights charges in February, before their state trial. Federal prosecutors Mr. The only official to question Floyd’s long-term control was Mr. Lane was sentenced to about five to six years in prison, and Mr. They also asked for a “significantly higher” sentence, though not as high as Chauvin’s. Two other officials.
Mr. Lane pleaded guilty Sentencing is expected in September on state charges of second-degree manslaughter; The lawyers have asked for three years. Mr. Kueng and Mr. Tao is expected to go on trial in October on state charges of murder and manslaughter.
Mr. Chow has been held in a state prison in Minnesota since being convicted of murder. “Mr. Chauvin, I sympathize with you for the conditions you have been confined to since your arrest,” Judge Magnuson said. Mr. Chauvin will serve five years of supervised release after completing his prison term, he said.