“We don’t want to see slaps on the wrists anymore. We’ve been through this before, ”said Terrence Floyd, one of George Floyd’s brothers. “In my community, in my culture, we have already experienced this: slaps on the wrist. No no no no. Because if it was us, if the roles were reversed, there would be no case. It would have been open and closed. We would have been in jail for somebody’s murder. We therefore ask for the same penalty for Derek Chauvin. “
Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s other brother, argued that he and his family “have been given a life sentence” because George is never coming back.
“I stand before you today, asking you to please help us find a fence by inflicting the maximum possible sentence on Chauvin,” he said, “making sure he does his time consecutively. without the possibility of parole, probation or early discharge for good behavior. ”
Chauvin, 45, pinned his knee to Floyd’s neck for about nine and a half minutes after police responded to a call about a possible counterfeit $ 20 bill at a convenience store in May 2020. The fatal encounter, which was captured on cellphone video by a teenager who received a special Pulitzer Prize citation earlier this month, has sparked global protests and national calls for police reform and racial justice.
Chauvin was convicted in April of unintentional second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. He faced a maximum sentence of 40 years for second degree murder.
Four members of Floyd’s family made personal statements before the sentencing, including Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, 7, who answered questions via video.
“I ask about him all the time,” she said when asked what she misses most about her father. If she could tell him something, she said it would be, “I miss you and love you.”
Prosecutors had requested a 30-year prison sentence for Chauvin, while defense attorney Eric Nelson requested probation with time served.
Matthew Frank, Assistant Attorney General of Minnesota, argued the court had discretion to go beyond sentencing guidelines due to four aggravating factors: abuse of trust and authority, treatment of Floyd with particular cruelty, the presence of children during the offense and the offense being committed with three or more people.
Frank dismissed the defense’s probation request as being “so far out of the real possibility, I think, real” that he would not spend much time debating it.
“We are asking the court to impose a 360-month sentence on the Commissioner of Corrections,” Frank said.
In his final comments, Nelson suggested that the court should focus not only on aggravating factors, but also mitigating factors, noting that in such a high-profile case, “a certain percentage of the public will view your sentence as a miscarriage of justice.” , no. imports the result.
“It’s a business that has changed the world to some extent,” Nelson said. “I hope it’s positive. I hope the court will follow the sentencing guidelines, apply the law in a reasoned manner, and impose a fair sentence.
In very brief comments, Chauvin offered his condolences to Floyd’s family.
“There will be other information in the future that would be interesting, and I hope things give you some peace of mind,” he said.
Chauvin’s mother Carolyn Pawlenty spoke on behalf of the family, describing her son as a dedicated member of the Minneapolis Police Department for 19 years and a calm, thoughtful, honorable, kind and selfless man who is not racist . She said the characterization that Chauvin is an “aggressive, heartless and indifferent person” is “far from the truth”.
“I think a long sentence won’t serve Derek well,” she said. “When you condemn my son, you will also condemn me. I won’t be able to see Derek, talk to him on the phone, or give him a special hug. Plus, the fact that when he’s released his father and I probably won’t be there.
“Derek,” she continued, “I want you to know that I have always believed in your innocence, and I will never stray from it. “
Chauvin will likely only serve two-thirds of his sentence, the Associated Press reported.
The three former officers who witnessed Floyd’s assassination are to be tried in March on charges of complicity in murder and manslaughter. All of the officers, including Chauvin, also face a trial in federal court on civil rights charges.