245 months–or just over 20 years. That’s the sentence today for ex-Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin for violating George Floyd’s civil rights. The sentence will be served concurrently with Chauvin’s 22-and-a-half-year sentence for his state murder conviction in Floyd’s 2020 death. In this federal case, Chauvin pleaded guilty to two counts of civil rights violations. Federal prosecutors were pushing for a 25-year sentence for Chauvin with attorney LeeAnn Bell arguing that “Chauvin’s sentence needs to reflect the intentionality. He wasn’t a rookie. He knew what he was doing was wrong and he did it anyway.” Prosecutors also were asking for a longer sentence stemming from a previous case in which Chauvin put his knee on 14-year-old John Pope to restrain him. The defense was asking for a 20-year sentence. Prior to sentencing, Judge Paul Magnuson said he didn’t know why Chauvin did what he did…”but it is wrong. And for that, you must be substantially punished.” Floyd died as Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee for more than nine minutes. Chauvin spoke prior to his sentencing saying to the Floyd family that he wishes Floyd’s children “all the best in their life” and that they have “excellent guidance in becoming good adults.” Several victim impact statements were allowed in court, including one from Floyd’s girlfriend, Courtney Ross, whose statement read “I don’t hate you, Mr. Chauvin. I’m working on forgiving you because that’s what George Floyd would want me to do.” Derek Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, also got up to speak in court and said the MPD “failed to back their own…” adding that it was not her son’s intent to kill someone the day George Floyd died. Floyd’s death sparked massive protests here in Minnesota and around the country.
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