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25th Jun 2021

Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22-and-a-half years over killing of George Floyd

Kieran Galpin

Derek Chauvin, the man who murdered George Floyd, has been sentenced to 22-and-a-half years

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, has been sentenced today. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in April.

On 25 May last year, Chauvin was recorded kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he pleaded for air and lost consciousness. Floyd’s death sparked a worldwide conversation and ushered in a hugely important moment in black history. His murder was the tipping point, and with it, protests, riots, and controversy swept the world.


Chauvin will be sentenced only on the most serious charge with the state’s sentencing guidelines recommending that he should face 12 and a half years. Per Minnesota law, the maximum sentence for second-degree murder is forty years in prison. Sky News reports that similar cases to Chauvin’s, and those without prior criminal convictions, usually receive 10-15 years instead.

However, Judge Peter Cahill has said that special circumstances such as Chauvin’s authority and the presence of children should call for more serious jail time.

Chauvin’s lawyer asked that he be sentenced to the time he has already served behind bars and probation, saying that the court should note Chauvin’s years of service to the community and his cooperation during his trial. During the trial, Chauvin offered a short statement, offering his ‘condolences’ to George Floyd’s family.

The other three officers involved are due to stand trial in August, who alongside Chauvin will face federal charges as well. In extreme cases, these charges can result in the death penalty.

The trial has had close eyes on it for months, with many looking to see if institutional racism will strike again. In many ways, this sentencing is a reflection of the American court system, but also a representation of modern racial discussion.