US Derek Chauvin sentencing: Former police officer faces prison time for the murder of George Floyd
Prosecutors: New trial not merited for ex-cop in Floyd death
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors say the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death should not be granted a new trial because the proceedings were fair and Derek Chauvin was found guilty by an impartial jury, according to a court document filed Wednesday. The state's document came in response to defense requests to grant Chauvin a new trial and to hold a hearing to question jurors about alleged misconduct. Among other things, defense attorney Eric Nelson said intense pretrial publicity, alleged prosecutorial misconduct and some decisions by the court made it impossible for Chauvin to get a fair trial.
Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who killed George Floyd on a Minneapolis street last year, is set to be sentenced Friday to a potentially lengthy prison stay.
Chauvin, 45,on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his role in Floyd's death.
Prosecutors for the state of Minnesota, saying it "would properly account for the profound impact of Defendant's conduct on the victim, the victim's family, and the community," according to a sentencing memo.
Chauvin's defense attorney, Eric Nelson, argued that the former officer should instead receive probation and time served, or at least a sentence less than what the law guides.
Derek Chauvin Sentencing Time as George Floyd Killer Faces 30 Years in Prison
Judge Peter Cahill will consider aggravating factors when deciding how long of a prison term to hand down to the former Minneapolis police officer.Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill will hand down Chauvin's sentence on Friday with proceedings expected to begin at around 1.30 p.m. CDT (2.30 p.m. EDT), according to Minnesota Public Radio (MPR).
"Mr. Chauvin asks the Court to look beyond its findings, to his background, his lack of criminal history, his amenability to probation, to the unusual facts of this case, and to his being a product of a 'broken' system," Nelson wrote in a filing.
The guilty verdict on all three charges against Chauvin came nearly a year after he impassively kneeled on the neck and back of Floyd, handcuffed and lying prone on the street, for. Under the officer's knees, the 46-year-old Black man gasped for air, repeatedly exclaimed "I can't breathe" and ultimately went silent as a group of horrified bystanders looked on.
Floyd's final moments, captured on searing, illustrated in clear visuals what Black Americans have long said about how the criminal justice system treats Black people. Floyd's death set off mass protests across the globe as well as incidents of looting and unrest.
George Floyd's family members to speak at Chauvin sentencing
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An attorney for George Floyd’s family said Friday that family members were feeling anxious ahead of a sentencing hearing for former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder and other charges in Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, and he faces a practical maximum of 30 years when he’s sentenced Friday afternoon. Family attorney Ben Crump told The Associated Press that family members were feeling “anxious and tense.” Floyd’s brother Philonise, his brother Terrence and his nephew Brandon Williams plan to make victim impact statements at Chauvin's sentencing. “To us, George Floyd is a cause.
His attorney has also filed a motion for a new trial.
Three other officers who were on scene during Floyd's fatal arrest ---- have pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding and abetting. Their trial is currently set for March 2022.
How the sentencing will go
The sentencing is set to take place at 1:30 p.m. CT at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Judge Peter Cahill, who oversaw the trial, will likewise decide the sentence.
Members of Floyd's family will be allowed to deliver victim impact statements, and Chauvin will have an opportunity to speak before he is sentenced.
Since his conviction, Chauvin has been held at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, outside of Minneapolis, and was put into a segregated housing unit for his own safety, a prison spokesperson said. The Minnesota Department of Corrections will decide on where Chauvin will serve his time after receiving Cahill's sentencing order, spokeswoman Sarah Fitzgerald told CNN.
Derek Chauvin Sentenced for Murder of George Floyd: Celebs Speak Out
Stars are sharing their thoughts following Chauvin's sentencing on Friday.Chauvin's sentencing came just over two months after he was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for killing Floyd in May 2020.
Legally, Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter. The second-degree murder charge said Chauvin assaulted Floyd with his knee, which unintentionally caused Floyd's death. The third-degree murder charge said Chauvin acted with a "depraved mind," and the manslaughter charge said his "culpable negligence" caused Floyd's death.
Chauvin has no prior criminal record, so Minnesota's sentencing guidelines recommend about 12 and a half years in prison for each murder charge and about four years for the manslaughter charge.
The sentences for the charges will likely be served at the same time, rather than consecutively, per sentencing guidelines. That means the sentence for second-degree murder will be of primary importance.
In this case, state prosecutors asked for a tougher sentence than the recommendations provide, citing five aggravating factors they said applied. Judge Peter Cahill haswere proven beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority, (2) he treated Floyd with particular cruelty, (3) children were present during the offense, and (4) Chauvin committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least three other people.
Derek Chauvin to be sentenced for murder in the death of George Floyd
The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted in April of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter. The jury deliberated for about 10 hours before reaching a verdict. Under Minnesota statutes, he can be sentenced only on the most serious charge: unintentional second-degree murder, which has a maximum sentence of 40 years.In arguing for a 30-year sentence, prosecutors said there were five aggravating factors in Floyd's death.
The findings allow the judge to sentence Chauvin beyond what the guidelines recommend.
Over about three weeks of testimony in court, Minnesota prosecutors repeatedly told jurors to "believe your eyes" and rely on the infamous video of Floyd.
"This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes," prosecuting attorney Steve Schleicher said in closing arguments. "This wasn't policing. This was murder."
The defense called seven witnesses -- but not Chauvin himself, as he invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify. Nelson argued that Chauvin's use of force was reasonable, that he was distracted by hostile bystanders and that Floyd died of other causes.
Chauvin faces other legal issues as well. Aall four former officers in connection with Floyd's death, alleging they violated his constitutional rights, according to court documents filed in federal court in Minnesota. They are due to be arraigned on the charges in September, according to a court filing.
Chauvin also was charged in a separate indictment related to an incident in which he allegedly used unreasonable force on a Minneapolis 14-year-old in September 2017, the Justice Department said in a statement. He is also expected to be arraigned in that case in September, according to court filings.
Opinion | The Power of the Muted Reaction to Derek Chauvin’s Sentencing .
For most of American history, police officers were rarely charged, let alone sentenced, for brutality against Black people. This time at least, justice was not denied.For most of our history, Black people getting killed or injured during encounters with white police officers was commonplace to the point of being unremarkable. Officers were rarely charged and tried or, when they were, almost never got convicted. Thanks in part to the steady rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the graphic video footage of Floyd’s murder viewed around the world, the long racial lethargy around police killings has broken. One result was Chauvin’s trial, conviction and now sentencing.