Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer found guilty of the murder of George Floyd, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Chauvin, 45, was convicted in April on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his role in Floyd’s death.
In the ruling on Friday, Judge Peter Cahill said the decision was based on the law and not “emotion, sympathy or public opinion” but he went on to acknowledge the deep pain all families involved are feeling “especially the Floyd family.”
Chauvin’s mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, had earlier told the judge that her son is a “quiet, thoughtful, honourable and selfless man” who should not receive a lengthy sentence.
Pawlenty made the statement in court before her son heard his sentence on a second-degree murder charge.
She did not mention Floyd by name.
“Derek has played over and over in his head the events of that day,” Pawlenty said.
“I’ve seen the toll it has taken on him. I believe a lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well.”
She further told Judge: “My son’s identity has also been reduced to that as a racist,” she said.
“I want this court to know that none of these things are true and that my son is a good man.”
According to The Telegraph, people outside the courthouse shook their heads and gasped in exasperation as Chauvin’s mother spoke, breaking out into chants of “No justice, no peace!”.
Chauvin, who showed little emotion until his mother spoke, also chose to address the judge, though spoke only briefly, which he said was due to legal reasons.
“I just want to give my condolences to the Floyd family. There will be some information in the future that will be of some interest and give you some peace of mind,” he said cryptically.
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