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Derek Chauvin has been sentenced for the murder of George Floyd.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.

Judge Peter Cahill handed down the sentence to Chauvin, 45, who fatally pinned Floyd to the ground during an arrest in May 2020. Chauvin held his knee on the neck of the 46-year-old for nine minutes and 29 seconds, ignoring Floyd's claims that he couldn't breathe.

Floyd's death triggered protests across the United States, after a video of the incident circulated online, placing renewed emphasis on racial justice issues around the world.

Chauvin, who pleaded not guilty in the trial, was convicted in April of all three charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Watch: Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at George Floyd's memorial. Post continues below.


Video via CBS.

Judge Peter Cahill imposed more than the 12-and-a-half-year sentence prescribed under state guidelines for second-degree murder, citing "[Chauvin's] abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd".

The judge also noted the sentence was not based on "emotion or sympathy", but he acknowledged the pain it caused all the families involved, especially the Floyd family. 

Cahill also issued a 22-page sentencing order explaining his rationale for the punishment.

"Mr. Chauvin, rather than pursuing the MPD [Minneapolis Police Department] 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 neighbour," the conclusion of the order read.

George Floyd. Image: Facebook.

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As part of the sentence, Chauvin will need to register as a predatory offender and will be prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunition or explosives for the rest of his life.

With good behaviour, he could be paroled after serving two-thirds of his sentence — about 15 years. 

On Friday, Chauvin's mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, appeared in court to plead for mercy for her son. Not once did she mention George Floyd or his family.

"It's been difficult for me to hear and read what the media, the public and prosecution team believe Derek to be an aggressive, heartless and uncaring person. I can tell you that is far from the truth," she told the judge. 

"I believe a lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well. When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me," she added.

Floyd's family members also stood before the court ahead of sentencing, pleading for the maximum penalty of 40 years.

"We don’t want to see no more slaps on the wrist. We’ve been through that already," said Terrence Floyd, one of Floyd’s brothers.

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Tearful Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, during victim impact statements. Image: AAP.

Before returning to prison after the sentencing, Chauvin removed his mask and delivered a short statement.

"But very briefly, though, I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family," he said.

"There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest. And I hope things will give you some some peace of mind."

Feature image: AAP.

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