ARCHIVE – Derek Chauvin with his defense attorney Eric Nelson. Photo: Uncredited / Court TV Pool / AP / dpa
In a letter published on Wednesday, Judge Peter Cahill granted an application from the public prosecutor’s office, which had called for a longer prison term because of the seriousness of the crime. Chauvin had abused his position as a police officer, failed to provide first aid and treated Floyd with “particular cruelty” in the presence of children, Cahill said.
“It was particularly cruel to slowly kill George Floyd by preventing his ability to breathe when Mr. Floyd had already made it clear that he was having difficulty breathing,” the judge wrote in support. Kneeling on a suspect’s neck also violated Minneapolis police regulations. Chauvin’s act was also witnessed by four children, three 17-year-olds and one 9-year-old, the judge said.
The jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, among other things, at the end of April. They have been imprisoned for up to 40 years in the US state of Minnesota. Because Chauvin had no previous conviction, according to guidelines, he was more likely to face around 12.5 years in prison. The judge’s decision paves the way for a longer prison term, up to a maximum of 40 years. The sentence is scheduled to be announced on June 16.
Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020 during a police operation in Minneapolis had sparked demonstrations against racism and police violence in the United States. Videos document how the police pushed the unarmed man to the ground. Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for a good nine minutes while Floyd pleaded to let him breathe. According to the autopsy, Floyd passed out and died.
Published: May 12th, 2021, 6:08 pm
Last updated: May 12, 2021, 6:09 pm