Derek Chauvin: George Floyd’s killer sentenced to 21 years in federal prison
Senior US District Court Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced Chauvin to 252 months but subtracted seven months for time served.
US attorneys asked the court for Chauvin’s sentence to run concurrently with his state sentence of 22.5 years.
“This sentence should send a strong message that the Justice Department stands ready to prosecute law enforcement officers who use deadly force without basis,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said. “While no amount of prison time can reverse the tragic consequences of Derek Chauvin’s violent actions, we hope that this sentence provides some small measure of justice for the families and communities impacted.”
Chauvin briefly addressed George Floyd’s children in court.
“I wish them all the best in their life and that they’ll have excellent guidance in the rest of their life,” he said.
Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, attended the hearing and asked the court for the maximum sentence.
“I’m looking for closure, and I want to know why. That’s what I want to know — why?” Philonise said after the hearing.
He also said he wanted an apology, something Chauvin didn’t give during his statement.
“I wish he would have just probably said how sorry he was, but that’s not going to bring my brother back. No matter how hard I want him to say different things, it’s not going to bring my brother back.”
The US Bureau of Prisons will decide what facility Chauvin will be housed in.
Sarah Greenman, an assistant criminology professor at Hamline University, said life in federal prison is considered to be better than at state facilities.
“It’s less crowded in federal prison, there’s less safety concerns than in a state facility,” she said, adding there are fewer violent offenders in federal prisons, which also have bigger budgets.
The footage from a Minneapolis street showed Chauvin impassively kneeling on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck and back while he was handcuffed and lying prone in the street for more than 9 minutes, gasping for air and telling Minneapolis officers, “I can’t breathe.”
According to a court document filed by his attorney in late June, Chauvin spends most of his life in solitary confinement at a maximum-security state prison.
CNN’s Paul Vercammen reported from St. Paul, Minnesota, and Steve Almasy reported and wrote in Atlanta.