Before the sentence was known, the judge denied the defense’s last attempt to hold a new trial, arguing that both the popular jury and the process had been flawed.
Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced this Friday to 22 years and six months in prison for the death of African-American citizen George Floyd, thus closing one of the most media-focused episodes of racial violence.
Chauvin, for whom the prosecution had asked for 30 years in prison, has approached Floyd’s family before the reading of his sentence to show his condolences and hope that after all they will get “some peace”.
The twelve members of the popular jury found in April that Chauvin was guilty of involuntary murder in the second degree, murder in the third degree and murder in the second degree for the death of Floyd in May 2020.
Before the sentence was known, Judge Cahill had already denied the defense’s last attempt to have a new trial, arguing that both the popular jury that in April found Chauvin guilty of all murder charges because of Floyd’s death how the process had been flawed.
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, argued that his client had not had the right to a fair trial, since, among other issues, the popular jury “acted incorrectly” throughout the process due to “threats” and “intimidation”, as well as for the “racially motivated pressure” of the case.
Floyd was arrested in May 2020 outside a store for having used a false bill to pay for a pack of cigarettes. During the operation, he was handcuffed and placed on the ground on his chest.
Chauvin dug his knee to the victims’ neck for nine minutes, despite warnings that he could not breathe. His death, recorded in a video that went around the world, generated a wave of indignation at a global level, with mobilizations and marches that sometimes led to riots, and put the racism of US institutions on the table again.