ST. PAUL: A federal judge sentenced Derek on Thursday Chauvinist to 21 years in prison for violating George Floyd‘s civil rights, telling the former Minneapolis police officer what he did was “simply wrong” and “offensive.”
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnusson sharply criticized Chauvin for his actions on May 25, 2020, when the white officer pinned Floyd to the sidewalk outside a Minneapolis convenience store for more than 9 minutes as the black man lay dying. FloydThe killing has sparked protests around the world over police brutality and racism.
“I really don’t know why you did what you did” Magnuson said. “Putting your knee on someone’s neck until they expire is just plain wrong. … Your conduct is wrong and it is offensive.
Magnuson, who earlier this year presided over the federal trial and sentencing of three other officers at the scene, blamed Chauvin alone for what happened. Chauvin was by far the senior officer present and brushed off questions from one of the others about whether Floyd should be turned to his side.
“You absolutely destroyed the lives of three young officers by taking command of the scene,” Magnuson said.
Even so, Magnuson’s sentence was at the bottom of the 20 to 25 years set out in a plea deal in which Chauvin will serve the federal sentence at the same time he serves his 22½-year sentence for murder and manslaughter.
Due to differences in parole eligibility in the state and federal systems, that means Chauvin will be serving slightly more time behind bars than he would on the state sentence alone. He will also spend his time in the federal system, where he may be safer and subject to fewer restrictions than in the state system.
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, had asked for 20 years, arguing that Chauvin was remorseful and would make it clear to the court. But Chauvin, in brief remarks, offered no direct apology or expression of remorse to Floyd’s family.
Instead, he told the family he wished Floyd’s children “all the best in their lives” and that they had “great advice on becoming good adults.”
Entering his federal plea last year, Chauvin admitted for the first time that he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck – even as the black man pleaded, ‘I can’t breathe’, then became unresponsive – killing Floyd. Chauvin admitted that he deliberately deprived Floyd of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, including unreasonable force by a police officer.
Magnuson did not set sentencing dates for the three other officers who were at the scene – Tou ThaoJ. Alexander Keung and Thomas Lane — who were convicted in February of federal civil rights charges.
Lane is also expected to be sentenced Sept. 21 after pleading guilty in state court to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Thao and Kueng refused plea deals and is due to stand trial in state court Oct. 24 for aiding and abetting.

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