A court in Minneapolis has sentenced a police officer convicted of the murder of George Floyd.
A court in Minneapolis on Friday sentenced Derek Chauvin, a former police officer convicted of the murder of George Floyd, to 22.5 years in prison, the Reuters news agency reported.
On April 20, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The former police officer, who has been in prison since his conviction, also faces federal civil rights charges.
Floyd, an African-American, died in May 2020 after Chauvin pressed his neck to the ground with his knee after being detained, holding him in this position for more than nine minutes.
The most serious charge against Chauvin, second-degree murder, carried a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
However, legal experts believed that in this case, we can talk about a maximum sentence of 30 years, because a more severe sentence can be overturned on appeal, the Associated Press reported on Thursday. Their forecasts were justified – taking into account all the circumstances; Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.
Earlier, Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the trial, said that Floyd’s murder was committed under “aggravating circumstances,” which gives him the right, at his discretion, to sentence Chauvin to a longer-term than required by state law. In Minnesota, the average sentence for a first offense under this article does not exceed 12 and half years.
Prosecutors argued that a 30-year sentence would clearly show “the profound impact that the accused had on the victim, the victim’s family, and society.”
The defense of Chauvin demanded a suspended sentence with release in the courtroom, taking into account the serving of the sentence for the time of detention.
Floyd’s death, captured on video by passers-by and spread on social networks, caused mass protests against systemic racism and police brutality.