Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22.5 years for George Floyd's murder

By Veronica Rocha, Fernando Alfonso III, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 8:00 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021
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3:58 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

JUST IN: 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 a 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.

4:17 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Judge says his sentence for Chauvin is "not based on emotion or sympathy"

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Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill expressed his condolences for the family of George Floyd moments before handing down his sentence for Derek Chauvin.

He said the sentence was "not based on emotion or sympathy."

"But at the same time I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family. You have our sympathies," Cahill said. "It has been painful throughout Hennepin County, throughout the state of Minnesota, and even the country. But most importantly we need to recognize the pain of the Floyd family."

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3:32 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

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.

3:43 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Chauvin: "I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family"

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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."

It was not immediately clear what additional information Chauvin was referencing.  

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill is expected to hand down Chauvin's sentence after a short recess.

Reporting from CNN's Aaron Cooper contributed to this post.

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3:27 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Chauvin's attorney calls the impact of the trial "profound"

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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."

3:43 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Chauvin's mother calls him "a good man" during emotional speech

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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.

Chauvin, 45, was convicted in April on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his role in George Floyd's death.

"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."

Chauvin’s mother went on to say that while she hasn’t spoken publicly, she never stopped supporting her son, and told the court she believes a lengthy sentence will "not serve Derek well."

"I've always supported him 100% and always will. Derek has played over and over in his head the events of that day. I've seen the toll it has taken on him. I believe a lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well," she told the court.

"When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me. I will not be able to see Derek, talk to him on the phone or give him our special hug. Plus the fact that when he is released, his father and I most likely will not be here," she continued.

Directing her comments to Chauvin she said, "I want you to know I've always believed in your innocence, and I will never waiver from that."

Chauvin's sentencing hearing for the killing of George Floyd last year has started in Minneapolis, with the former police officer facing a potentially lengthy prison stay.

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 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

Under the officer's knees, Floyd gasped for air, repeatedly exclaimed "I can't breathe" and ultimately went silent as a group of horrified bystanders looked on.

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3:12 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

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

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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.

3:12 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Floyd's brother asks court for the maximum sentence

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

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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. 

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3:15 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

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

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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."

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