By Vivian Kane
Former Minneapolis police officer and convicted murderer Derek Chauvin was sentenced Friday to 270 months, or 22.5 years in prison.
In April, Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Earlier Friday, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill heard impact statements from Floyd’s family, including his seven-year-old daughter, who gave a heartbreaking statement about how much she misses her dad.
“I ask about him all the time,” Gianna said via video. “I want to play with him, have fun, go on a plane ride.”
Cahill also heard from Chauvin’s mother, who did not speak at all about Floyd or his family’s grief, but tried to paint her son as being a victim of a false media narrative, as well as from Chauvin’s attorney, who urged the judge not to be swayed by “public opinion.”
When Cahill issued Chauvin’s sentence, he insisted he wasn’t being influenced by public opinion or by emotion, but by the law. And while the 22.5-year sentence is more than the state’s sentencing guidelines for offenders without prior felony convictions and also “one of the longest a former police officer has ever received for an unlawful use of deadly force,” according to MN Attorney General Keith Ellison, it is far less than the 30 years prosecutors and Floyd’s family were pushing for.
Even for those generally opposed to America’s overly severe prison sentences, the double standard in the judicial system is on full display here, and completely infuriating.