JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Judge Peter Cahill handed down the 22 1/2 year sentence for ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. He was convicted of second degree murder in the death George Floyd more than one year ago.
Judge Cahill said he didn’t make his decision based on emotion or sympathy or even public opinion. In his words, it was solely based on the abuse of authority and cruelty shown to Floyd in the last nine minutes of his life.
Before the sentence, the court heard impact statements from both Floyd’s and Chauvin’s family. Chauvin also addressed the court, he gave condolences to the Floyd family and said he hoped they could one day find peace.
“Only time will tell if we look back and see if the Chauvin conviction was a turning point in accountability and for criminal actions by an officer. It may be a footnote to history and back to business as usual or it may be a point from which momentum grows to do things differently,” said Mississippi College Law Professor Matt Steffey.
Steffey said it’s very rare that police officers actually serve prison time if they’re charged or convicted, but this case proves that murder convictions are possible.
Judge Cahill did attach a 22-page sentencing order laying out how he came to his decision. Chauvin will get a credit of 190 days already served.