Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who murdered George Floyd, has been sentenced to 22 years and six months for murder.
Mr. Floyd, a 46-year-old black was killed last year May during an arrest over allegation that he spent a counterfeit $20 bill.
A viral video of Mr Chauvin kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes until he gave up, triggered global outrage and massive Black Lives Matter protest across the United States.
Mr Chauvin appeared in court on Friday, after a jury found him guilty on three charges related to the murder in April. The jury ruled that Mr Chauvin was guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, after three weeks of the televised trial.
Judge Peter A. Cahill of Hennepin County District Court, delivered the judgment on Friday, sentencing Mr Chauvin, 45, to 22 and a half years in prison.
Mr Cahill commented shortly before delivering the sentence, saying:
The sentence is not based on is 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.
Mr Cahill explained in a 22-page sentencing memorandum released by the court, that:
Part of the mission of the Minneapolis police department is to give citizens “voice and respect. Here, Mr Chauvin rather than pursuing the MPD mission, treated Mr Floyd without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings and which he certainly would have extended to a friend or neighbor.
The civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents the Floyd family, described the punishment as a “historic sentence [that] brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability.”
Under Minnesota “good behaviour” law, Mr Chauvin could serve only two-thirds of the sentence in prison with the rest under licensed release.
At the sentencing hearing, Mr Chauvin offered his “condolences” to Floyd’s family before the entire court but did not apologise for his actions. He said he was unable to speak further due to other ongoing litigation.
Very briefly though, I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family, there’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest, and I hope some things would give you some peace of mind,” he said.