SPECIAL COVERAGE: Derek Chauvin Sentencing

What we’re covering here

  • Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin will be sentenced today in the 2020 murder of George Floyd.
  • Prosecutors are asking for a 30 year sentence, and Chauvin’s attorney is asking for probation and time served.
  • Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd died in May 2020 after Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck while he pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”

Sentencing of Derek Chauvin  Coverage event has ended…


4:41 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Attorney Ben Crump says “real justice would be George Floyd still being here with his family”

Attorney Ben Crump, who represents George Floyd’s family, said the 22.5 year jail sentence for Derek Chauvin should “not be the exception when a Black person is killed by brutality by police.”
“Today represents an opportunity to be a turning point in America. This is the longest sentence that a police officer has ever been sentenced to in the history of the state of Minnesota,” Crump said in a speech following Chauvin’s sentencing in Minneapolis. “But this should not be the exception when a Black person is killed by brutality by police. It should be the norm. And so when we think about real justice, real justice would be George Floyd still being here with his family.”

Biden says Chauvin’s sentencing “seems to be appropriate” under the guidelines

President Biden reacted Friday to the sentencing verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, telling reporters in the Oval Office, “I don’t know all the circumstances that were considered, but it seems to me, under the guidelines, that seems to be appropriate.”

Chauvin was sentenced earlier Friday to 22 and a half years for the second-degree unintentional murder of George Floyd. Sentences for the lesser convictions of second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder were not adjudicated.

Biden, when asked to react to the sentence, told reporters in the Oval Office, “I’ve not been able to hear anything about what’s happened,” prompting a reporter to inform him of Chauvin’s sentence.


4:35 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Rev. Al Sharpton says the Chauvin sentence is “not justice because George Floyd is in a grave tonight”

Rev. Al Sharpton was critical of the 22.5 year jail sentence imposed on Derek Chauvin this afternoon, saying the former police officer should have received the maximum sentence.

“This verdict and this sentencing is the longest sentence we’ve seen, but it is not justice because George Floyd is in a grave tonight even though Chauvin will be in jail,” Sharpton said during a speech in Minneapolis. “So let us not feel that we’re here to celebrate because justice would’ve been George Floyd never had been killed. Justice would’ve been the maximum.”

Sharpton added: “We got more than we thought only because we have been disappointed so many times before,  22 and a half years is longer than we’ve ever got. But shorter than what we should’ve gotten in the past.”


4:22 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Minnesota attorney general says the outcome of the Chauvin case “is not enough”

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison placed the sentencing of Derek Chauvin this afternoon in perspective, saying he hopes “this moment gives us pause and allows us to rededicate ourselves to the real societal change that will move us much further along the road to justice.”

“My hope is that he takes the time to learn something about the man whose life he took and about the movement that rolls up to call for justice in the wake of George Floyd’s torture and death. Today is also an important moment for our country. The outcome of this case is critically important. But by itself, it’s not enough. My hope for our country is that this moment gives us pause and allows us to rededicate ourselves to the real societal change that will move us much further along the road to justice.”

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

“My hope is that he takes the time to learn something about the man whose life he took and about the movement that rolls up to call for justice in the wake of George Floyd’s torture and death. Today is also an important moment for our country. The outcome of this case is critically important. But by itself, it’s not enough. My hope for our country is that this moment gives us pause and allows us to rededicate ourselves to the real societal change that will move us much further along the road to justice.”

Ellison went on to call for the passage of The George Floyd Justice and Policing Act, which remains stalled in Congress.

“I call on leaders and members of Congress to pass the best and strongest version of this bill that can be passed and to pass it now. President Biden called on the Congress to pass this bill. It must be passed. Lives are depending upon it. It’s just that simple,” he said.

 

4:20 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Floyd family calls Chauvin sentence “one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability”

Floyd family attorney Ben Crump issued a statement moments after ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison for George Floyd’s murder Friday afternoon.

“This historic sentence brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability. For once, a police officer who wrongly took the life of a Black man was held to account,” Crump and the Floyd family said in Friday’s statement.

“Day after day, year after year, police kill Black people without consequence. But today, with Chauvin’s sentence, we take a significant step forward – something that was unimaginable a very short time ago,” the statement continued.


4:08 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister and founder of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, issued a statement moments after Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for Floyd’s murder Friday afternoon.

“The sentence handed down today to the Minneapolis police officer who killed my brother George Floyd shows that matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously,” the statement said. “However, we have a long way to go and many changes to make before Black and Brown people finally feel like they are being treated fairly and humanely by law enforcement in this country.”

“Our focus at the George Floyd Memorial Foundation will now move to building support to ensure that the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act becomes law and brings with it the hope for the substantive change that we need so desperately in this country,” the statement continued.


4:12 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Van Jones calls the Chauvin sentence “very disappointing” and a “punch in the gut”

CNN political commentator Van Jones reacted moments after the judged sentenced Derek Chauvin to 22 1/2 years in prison, calling the sentence “very disappointing” and saying the judge should have handed down the maximum possible penalty for the murder of George Floyd.

“I know people doing 15 years for nothing, for victimless crimes of drug possession,” said Jones, referring to the minimum time Chauvin is likely to serve in the case. “Very disappointing.”

Jones pointed to aggravating factors the judge had identified in the case, saying they should have resulted in harsher sentence both as a punitive measure for Chauvin, but also as a warning to other law enforcement officials.

“Any one of those aggravators, what this man did, it should’ve been the maximum of the maximum,” said Jones. “It’s a punch in the gut.”

“Law enforcement across the country should look at something like this and say, look, you can’t do this type of stuff, you’re never going to come back home,” Jones said. “It’s disappointing.”


4:08 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister and founder of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, issued a statement moments after Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for Floyd’s murder Friday afternoon.

“The sentence handed down today to the Minneapolis police officer who killed my brother George Floyd shows that matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously,” the statement said. “However, we have a long way to go and many changes to make before Black and Brown people finally feel like they are being treated fairly and humanely by law enforcement in this country.”

“Our focus at the George Floyd Memorial Foundation will now move to building support to ensure that the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act becomes law and brings with it the hope for the substantive change that we need so desperately in this country,” the statement continued.


BREAKING NEWS:Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison in the murder of George Floyd

Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 and half years in prison in the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

Prosecutors had asked for a 30 year sentence, and Chauvin’s attorney asked for probation and time served. Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Technically, Chauvin faced 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.

However, Chauvin has no prior criminal record. State guidelines say that for such a person, the presumptive sentence for both second-degree and third-degree murder is 12 1/2 years. The judge was given discretion to hand down a sentence between 10 years and eight months and 15 years for each.

Second-degree manslaughter carries a presumptive sentence of four years for someone with no record, according to the guidelines. The judge’s discretion ranged from three years and five months to four years and eight months.

 


6 min ago

The court is in a 15-minute recess

The court is now in a 15-minute recess following remarks by George Floyd’s family, former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin and his mother.


2 min ago

Chauvin: “I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family”

Derek Chauvin

Derek Chauvin spoke briefly in court today prior to his sentencing in Minneapolis.

“I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family,” Chauvin said. “There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope things will give you some peace of mind.”


3 min ago

Chauvin’s attorney calls the impact of the trial “profound”

Derek Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson.

Derek Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, reflected on the trial today in court prior to the sentencing, saying he hopes the result of the case “brings forth principled debate and civil public discourse and ultimately leaves a positive effect on the city of Minneapolis.”

“The impact it’s had on the community is profound,” Nelson said today. “It goes far beyond what happened on May 25th of last year. It’s been at the forefront of our national consciousness and has weaved its way into every, nearly every facet of our lives from entertainment that we consume to the presidential politics.”

Nelson added: “In the end, it’s my sincere hope when this proverbial dust settles, the community impact brings forth principled debate and civil public discourse and ultimately leaves a positive effect on the city of Minneapolis, city of Minnesota and the United States.”


11 min ago

Prosecutor: “Mr. Chauvin abused his position of trust and authority”

Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank.

Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank, speaking in court at Derek Chauvin’s sentencing, argued that Chauvin abused the power he had as a police officer on the day he killed George Floyd.

“This case wasn’t about police officers, all police officers. It wasn’t about policing. This case was about Derek Chauvin disregarding all that training he received and assaulting Mr. Floyd until he suffocated to death,” he said.

Frank said that officers who take people into custody are taking responsibility for their care — and Chauvin disregarded care the day Floyd died.

“Mr. Chauvin abused his position of trust and authority as a police officer by doing just that — just disregarding all of his training,” he added.

 

8 min ago

Chauvin’s mother calls him “a good man” during emotional speech

Carolyn Pawlenty, the mother of Derek Chauvin.

Carolyn Pawlenty, the mother of Derek Chauvin, said her son is “a good man” and someone who “always dedicated his life and time to the police department.”

“Even on his days off, he would call to see if they needed help,” she said.

“On Nov. 25, 2020, not only did Derek’s life change forever, but so did mine and my family’s. Derek devoted 19 years of his life to the Minneapolis Police Department,” Pawlenty said in court before the sentencing of her son. “It’s been difficult for me to hear and read what the media, public and prosecution team believe Derek to be an aggressive, heartless and uncaring person. I can tell you that is far from the truth.”

Pawlenty added: “My son’s identity has also been reduced to that as a racist. I want this court to know that none of these things are true, and that my son is a good man.”


2:54 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Floyd’s brother asks court for the maximum sentence

Terrence Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd.

Terrence Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd, asked the court for the maximum sentence for his brother’s killer, saying if the roles were reversed the sentence would be harsh.

“On behalf of me and my family, we seek the maximum penalty,” he said, his voice shaking with emotion. “We don’t want to see no more slaps on the wrist. We’ve been through that already… no, no, no, no.”

He said he believed if it had been a Black man killing a White man there would be little doubt what kind of verdict the court would hand down.

“If it was us, if the roles was reversed, there wouldn’t be no case,” he said. “It would have been open and shut. We’d have been under the jail for murdering somebody. So, we ask for that same penalty for Derek Chauvin.”

Earlier in his statement, Floyd also spoke to the impact the loss of his brother had on him and his family, and recounted the final conversation he said he had with his brother, in which they were planning play dates with his own daughter and George’s daughter, Gianna.

“That can’t happen,” he said.

 

2:52 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Philonise Floyd says he has relived his brother being “tortured to death every hour of the day”

George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd.

George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd called on the court to sentence Derek Chauvin to the maximum sentence possible because “every day, I have begged for justice to be served.”

“Every day, I have begged for justice to be served, reliving the execution of George while others begged and pleaded for officer Chauvin to simply just allow George to take a breath. I haven’t had a real night’s sleep because of the nightmares I constantly have, hearing my brother beg and plead for his life over and over again. Even saying, ‘they’re going to kill me, please, officer,’ screaming for our mom,” Philonise Floyd said in court today.

Philonise Floyd added: “I have had to sit through each day of officer Derek Chauvin’s trial and watch the video of George dying for hours, over and over again. For an entire year, I had to relive George being tortured to death every hour of the day, only taking naps and not knowing what a good night’s sleep is anymore.”


2:41 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Floyd’s nephew: Chauvin “displayed a total lack of consideration for human life”

 

George Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams

George Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, spoke in court today during Derek Chauvin’s sentencing, calling his uncle’s death “truly unimaginable.”

“Chauvin killed George, not only did he kill George, but he also displayed a total lack of consideration for human life as he did so. You saw it. I saw it. And millions of people across the country and the globe witnessed the act of hate,” Williams said in court today during Chauvin’s sentencing. “It is humanly impossible for me to stand here and convey or articulate the right words that would capture all that we are feeling and what we have felt over this period, so please bear with me as I attempt the impossible. The sudden murder of George has forever traumatized us. You may see us cry, but the full extent of our pain and trauma will never be seen with the naked eye.”

Williams added: “The heartbreak and hurt goes far beyond any number of tears we could ever cry. Words simply cannot express the pain, anguish, and suffering that our family and friends have endured since George’s murder. It has been truly unimaginable.”


2:37 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: George Floyd’s daughter delivers first victim impact statement: “I ask about him all the time”

George Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter.

George Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter is delivering the first victim impact statement at Derek Chauvin’s sentencing.

The courtroom is currently being shown a video of her statement.

“I ask about him all the time,” she said.

Someone in the video asked Gianna what she would tell her father if she could see him again.

“It would be I miss you and I love you,” she said,
2:37 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Floyd’s brother’s message to Chauvin: “I love you. But I don’t like you.”

Terrence Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd, said if he could speak to his brother’s killer, he’d tell him he loved him, because “but we cannot move on with hate in our heart.”

“I’m a man. I’m a Black man. I’m strong. I’m intelligent,” Floyd said he’d tell former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, ahead of his sentencing. “I don’t have to act like an animal. But I’m going to let you know my feelings. I don’t like it. I love you. But I don’t like you.”

“We can fight for justice, we can fight for what we want, but we cannot move on with hate in our heart,” he added.

Floyd also said he’d like to ask Chauvin a number of questions that helped him see the humanity in his brother.

“Suppose I would have did that to your brother?” he said he’d ask. “…How would you view me?… I’m not going to react like that. I’m going to show you who my brother really is…I’m going to show you who I am.”

 


2:22 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

SOON: Derek Chauvin’s sentencing hearing will begin

Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin will be sentenced today in the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

The hearing is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET, or 1:30 p.m. CT.

Chauvin, 45, was convicted in April 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 have requested a 30-year prison sentence, 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.


1:50 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Here’s what happened during Derek Chauvin’s trial

Derek Chauvin is led away in handcuffs after being found guilty on April 20. Pool

Former Minneapolis Police offer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd on April 20. Chauvin, 45, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Here are the key takeaways from Chauvin’s trial:

Reaching a verdict: The jurors deliberated for more than 10 hours over two days before coming to their decision. The guilty verdict came about 11 months after the murder of Floyd, which occurred on May 25, 2020.

Understanding the verdict: 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.

Reading the verdict: Although he wore a mask, Chauvin had no apparent reaction to the guilty verdict. Immediately, his bail was revoked, and he was placed in handcuffs. Officials said Chauvin was taken to a facility in Stillwater, Minnesota, where was placed in an administrative control unit – a housing unit that is separated from the general population for safety concerns.

What comes next: Chauvin’s sentence today will depend on several factors, including the state’s sentencing guidelines and whether the judge decides to go beyond the guidelines because of certain circumstances. 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.

 


1:15 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Prosecutors have requested a 30-year sentence for Chauvin

Prosecutors for the state of Minnesota are requesting a 30-year prison sentence for Derek Chauvin, the former officer convicted of the murder of George Floyd, according to a sentencing memo.

Thirty years is “twice the upper end of the presumptive sentencing range,” according to the memo filed with the District Court of Hennepin County on June 2. It “would properly account for the profound impact of Defendant’s conduct on the victim, the victim’s family, and the community,” the state argued.

Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, had argued in a filing that day that Chauvin should instead receive probation and time served, or at least a sentence less than what the law guides.

“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. “Mr. Chauvin’s offense is best described as an error made in good faith reliance his own experience as a police officer and the training he had received — not intentional commission of an illegal act.”

Nelson also wrote, “A stringent probationary sentence with incarceration limited to time served would achieve the purposes of the sentence in this case.”

Floyd died May 25, 2020, after Chauvin placed his knee on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds as Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”

 

12:50 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

What we know about the other officers charged in Floyd’s death

The three other officers facing charges in George Floyd’s death are expected to be tried together in 2022, 

J. Alexander Kueng, 27, Thomas Lane, 38, and Tou Thao, 35, had been set to stand trial in August on Minnesota state chargesof aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter connected to Floyd’s death last May. They have pleaded not guilty.

In April, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin 45, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

11:55 a.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Floyd family members will speak at today’s sentencing

Some of George Floyd’s family members will be speaking at today’s sentencing hearing for Derek Chauvin and Floyd’s daughter Gianna may give some kind of statement, Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump.

“Family members of George Floyd will be speaking. Delivering their victim impact statements and how his tragic death has impacted them and impacted their family and most profoundly, impacted the community,” Crump said.

When asked directly if Gianna would speak, Crump said the family wants to make sure she’s protected because “she’s still only a child.”

“But there is a chance that there will be some statement from her perspective and his other family members, his brothers and sisters and people who know him best,” Crump added of Gianna.

Crump said that while activists around the world have rallied around the Floyd family in the year since his murder, his family is dealing with the loss of a loved one.

“To us it is a hashtag, a case, a cause, to them that is their flesh and blood,” he said.

 

12:00 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Judge denies Derek Chauvin’s request for new trial

Judge Peter Cahill speaks during Derek Chauvin’s trial on April 19. Pool

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill has denied former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s post-verdict motion for a new trial.

In a ruling filed Thursday evening Cahill said the “Defendant has failed to demonstrate that the Court abused its discretion or committed error such that Defendant was deprived of his constitutional right to a fair trial.” Cahill also said the Defendant failed to demonstrate the State engaged in prosecutorial misconduct or a case for juror misconduct.

Chauvin is set to be sentenced later this afternoon for the murder of George Floyd. The sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET.

In April, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, second degree manslaughter and third-degree murder in the 2020 death of George Floyd.

The defense argued in court filings that “errors, abuses of discretion, prosecutorial and jury misconduct” during the trial made it unfair.

In asking Cahill to deny the motion for a new trial, prosecutors said the court already rejected many of the arguments.

The request for a new trial is different than an appeal in that it is addressed to the trial judge. Chauvin will have 90 days from the imposition of his sentence to file an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

 

12:44 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Derek Chauvin will be sentenced today for the murder of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin listens in court during his trial on April 20. Pool

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd, will be sentenced today at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Chauvin’s sentence will depend on several factors, including the state’s sentencing guidelines, and whether the judge decides to go beyond the guidelines because of certain circumstances.

Technically, 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.

However, Chauvin has no prior criminal record. The state’s guidelines say that for such a person, the presumptive sentence for both second-degree and third-degree murder is 12 1/2 years. The judge is given discretion to hand down a sentence between 10 years and eight months and 15 years for each.

Second-degree manslaughter carries a presumptive sentence of four years for someone with no record, according to the guidelines. The judge’s discretion ranges from three years and five months to four years and eight months.

However, prosecutors are asking for a tougher sentence than the recommendations provide.

In two filings last year, prosecutors said five aggravating factors warrant an increased sentence. Those factors include that Floyd was particularly vulnerable, that he was treated with particular cruelty, and that children were present when the crimes were committed.

If the judge applies aggravating factors, it would shift Chauvin’s sentence to a higher part of the legal range.

The sentences for all three crimes would likely be served at the same time, not consecutively. “Generally, when an offender is convicted of multiple current offenses… concurrent sentencing is presumptive,” according to the guidelines.