Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer found guilty of murdering George Floyd, was on Friday sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.
Ruling, Judge Peter Cahill said the decision was based on the law and not “emotion, sympathy or public opinion.” He went on to acknowledge the deep pain all families involved are feeling “especially the Floyd family.”
Chauvin, 45, was expected to receive between 15 and 30 years in jail for his most serious conviction, second-degree murder, after Cahill indicated he would go beyond sentencing guidelines.
Ben Crump, the Floyd family’s lawyer, hailed a historic step towards racial reconciliation.
Chauvin, who showed little emotion until his mother spoke, also chose to address the judge. Although he spoke only briefly, which he claimed was due to legal reasons.
“I just want to give my condolences to the Floyd family. There will be some information in the future that will be of some interest and give you some peace of mind,” he said cryptically.
Chauvin’s mother had earlier told the judge that her son is a “quiet, thoughtful, honourable and selfless man,” who should not receive a lengthy sentence.
Carolyn Pawlenty made the statement in court before her son, Derek Chauvin, heard his sentence on a second-degree murder charge. She did not mention Floyd by name.
People outside the courthouse shook their heads and gasped in exasperation as Chauvin’s mother spoke, breaking out into chants of “No justice, no peace!”