Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was on Thursday sentenced by a federal court judge to serve 21 years in prison for violating the civil rights of convicted felon George Floyd.
Chauvin pleaded guilty to the federal civil rights charges in December 2021. Prosecutor LeeAnn Bell sought a full 25-year sentence, to be served concurrently with his 22-and-a-half-year sentence for his state convictions of murder and manslaughter.
Bell stated to the judge Chauvin was “not a rookie” but had also admitted that his conduct “was wrong, and he did it anyway .”
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson chose to hand down the sentence at the lower end of the plea deal.
” I don’t understand why you did this. Magnuson stated that it was wrong to place your knees on someone’s neck and wait for them to die.
” Your conduct is inappropriate and wrong,” the judge at the federal court added.
Chauvin is accused of denying Floyd his rights through “unreasonable seizure,” which included the right to not be subject to the unreasonable use of force by a officer .”
The former Minneapolis police officer will likely spend around 18 years in prison, with parole and presuming good behavior.
There are some differences between federal and state parole eligibility. The state sentence should make Chauvin eligible for parole after 15 years, but he will serve more time on his federal sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
His state sentence of 22 and a half years will run at the same time as his most recent federal sentence of 21 years. He will be held in federal prison.
Chauvin did not testify in his trial, but he offered his condolences and best wishes to Floyd’s family at his state sentencing hearing.
Chauvin convicted by Hennepin County Circuit Court Judge Peter Cahill of second-degree murder and third-degree killing, as well as manslaughter for the death Floyd.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020, while being arrested for allegedly attempting to purchase cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 note in Minneapolis.
Floyd died in protest. This sparked violence and riots across the country. There were also calls for “defunding the police” amid the demonstrations. Some critics claimed that this led to an rise of crime in major U.S. metro areas.
Minneapolis was especially hard hit by weeks of violence, looting and arson, as well as weeks of riots in the aftermath of Floyd’s passing, which caused tens to millions in damages.
This report was contributed by the Associated Press.
Caden Pearson, a journalist based in Australia. His background includes documentary and screenwriting. Contact him on [email protected]