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Derek Chauvin receives 22.5 years in prison for murder of George Floyd

The sentence means the earliest Derek Chauvin could be eligible for release on parole, experts said, would be in 2035 or 2036, when he is close to 60 years old.

June 26, 2021 / 08:19 AM IST
Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters

The killing of George Floyd on a Minneapolis corner led to nationwide protests, a reckoning over racial injustice touching on virtually every aspect of American life and, Friday, a substantial prison sentence — 22 1/2 years — for the former police officer, Derek Chauvin, who ignored Floyd’s desperate cries for help and pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for what seemed an eternity.

The sentence was less than the 30 years prosecutors had sought, but far more than the penalty that lawyers for Chauvin, 45, had requested: probation and the time he has already spent behind bars. The sentence means the earliest Chauvin could be eligible for release on parole, experts said, would be in 2035 or 2036, when he is close to 60 years old.

In delivering Chauvin’s sentence Friday, Judge Peter A. Cahill referred to the “particular cruelty” of the crime, which was captured in a widely shared cellphone video, as Chauvin held Floyd down for more than 9 minutes in May 2020. Floyd could be heard crying out more than 20 times that he could not breathe.

Shortly after reading the sentence from the bench, Cahill issued a 22-page memorandum about his decision, writing, “Part of the mission of the Minneapolis Police Department is to give citizens ‘voice and respect.’” But Chauvin, the judge wrote, had instead “treated Mr. Floyd without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings and which he certainly would have extended to a friend or neighbor.”