396 days after George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin, the ex-officer has received his fate.
Chauvin, who was found guilty on three counts related to his death, was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison by Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill.
Just before he was sentenced, Chauvin addressed the Floyd family for the first time since he was charged with killing Floyd.
“I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family,” Chauvin said. “There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope things will give you some peace of mind.”
Family members of both Floyd and Chauvin were given the chance to speak publicly in court before Judge Cahill handed down the sentence.
“I ask about him all the time,” said Gianna Floyd, the seven-year-old daughter of Floyd.
Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams also spoke during the sentencing hearing.
“Chauvin killed George, not only did he kill George, but he also displayed a total lack of consideration for human life as he did so. You saw it. I saw it. And millions of people across the country and the globe witnessed the act of hate,” Williams said in court. “It is humanly impossible for me to stand here and convey or articulate the right words that would capture all that we are feeling and what we have felt over this period, so please bear with me as I attempt the impossible. The sudden murder of George has forever traumatized us. You may see us cry, but the full extent of our pain and trauma will never be seen with the naked eye.”
George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd asked for the court to sentence the defendant to the maximum sentence possible.
“Every day, I have begged for justice to be served, reliving the execution of George while others begged and pleaded for officer Chauvin to simply just allow George to take a breath. I haven’t had a real night’s sleep because of the nightmares I constantly have, hearing my brother beg and plead for his life over and over again. Even saying, ‘they’re going to kill me, please, officer,’ screaming for our mom,” Philonise Floyd said in court.
Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank said Chauvin abused his power the day he killed Floyd.
“Mr. Chauvin abused his position of trust and authority as a police officer by doing just that — just disregarding all of his training,” he said.
Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, said she doesn’t like seeing her son portrayed as an aggressive person.
“It’s been difficult for me to hear and read what the media, public and prosecution team believe Derek to be an aggressive, heartless and uncaring person. I can tell you that is far from the truth,” she said. “”Derek has played over and over in his head the events of that day. I’ve seen the toll it has taken on him. I believe a lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well.”
Pawlenty said she still believes her son is innocent.
“I want you to know I’ve always believed in your innocence, and I will never waiver from that,” she said as she spoke to her son in court.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson called the trial of his client “profound.”
“The impact it’s had on the community is profound,” Nelson said. “It goes far beyond what happened on May 25th of last year. It’s been at the forefront of our national consciousness and has weaved its way into every, nearly every facet of our lives from entertainment that we consume to the presidential politics.”
Nelson went on to say he hopes the trial leaves a positive impact.
“In the end, it’s my sincere hope when this proverbial dust settles, the community impact brings forth principled debate and civil public discourse and ultimately leaves a positive effect on the city of Minneapolis, city of Minnesota and the United States,” he said.