By Nicholas Pfosi and Jonathan Allen MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) –A Minnesota judge sentenced former police officer Derek Chauvin to 22-1/2 years in prison on Friday for the murder of George Floyd during an arrest in May 2020 on a Minneapolis sidewalk, video of which sparked global protests.
A jury found Chauvin, 45, guilty on April 20 of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after a trial that was widely seen as a watershed moment in the history of U.S. policing.
Prosecutors had asked for a 30-year prison sentence, double the upper limit indicated in sentencing guidelines for a first-time offender. The defense had asked for probation.
Video of Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in handcuffs, for more than nine minutes caused outrage around the world and the largest protest movement seen in the United States in decades.
In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors from the Minnesota attorney general’s office wrote that Chauvin’s crime “shocked the conscience of the Nation.”
In a six-page ruling last month, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill found that prosecutors had shown there were four aggravating factors that would allow him to hand down a longer prison term than sentencing guidelines would dictate. The judge agreed that Chauvin abused his position of trust and authority; that he treated Floyd with particular cruelty; that he committed the crime as part of a group with three other officers; and that he committed the murder in front of children.