Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22 and a half years for murder of George Floyd

'I miss you and love you,' Floyd's daughter Gianna, 7, said ahead of sentencing

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was on Friday sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.

This capped a case that had gripped the US for more than a year, unleashed a wave of racial justice demonstrations across the globe and forced a rethink of US policing.

Judge Peter Cahill released a 22-page memorandum along with his sentencing document, with details on how he came to his sentencing decision.

"This is based on your abuse of a position of trust and authority, and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd," he said.

Mr Cahill said the 199 days Chauvin has already served will count towards his sentence. With good behaviour, he could be parolled after about 15 years.

The sentence was markedly shorter than the 30 years prosecutors had asked the judge to impose.

Prosecutors presented a video recording made of George Floyd's daughter Gianna Floyd, 7, for a victim-impact statement before the sentencing.

"Those mean people did something to him," she said.

She shared that she thought of her father often and wished she could spend time with him again.

"I want to play with him, have fun."

Gianna said she believed Floyd was still with her in spirit. "I miss you and love you," she said.

Prosecutors also brought out Floyd's brothers, Terrence and Philonise, and his nephew, Brandon Williams.

“My family and I have been given a life sentence," Philonise Floyd told the court. "We will never be able to get George back."

He said he often cannot sleep due to nightmares of his brother's murder.

“The full extent of our pain and trauma will never be seen with the naked eye,” Mr Williams said.

“Our family is forever broken.”

Chauvin, 45, was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the arrest of Floyd, who was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a store.

The former officer's act of fatally pressing his knee on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020, was captured on a bystander's phone.

The video was shared widely, igniting one of the largest protest movements in US history.

"I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family," Chauvin said to the court on Friday.

The verdict in April was a rare moment of police accountability, where officers are seldom punished in killings.

Floyd's murder shone a spotlight on US policing tactics that frequently see officers resort to using deadly force instead of trying to de-escalate a situation, particularly in arrests of people of colour.

The defence had Chauvin's mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, speak to the court before the sentence was read out.

"My son is a good man," she said to the judge.

"When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me."

Earlier Friday, Judge Cahill rejected a request by defence lawyer Eric Nelson for a new trial. Mr Nelson still plans to appeal against the verdict.

President Joe Biden commented on the Chauvin sentencing Friday afternoon, "I don't know all the circumstances that were considered but it seems to me, under the guidelines, that seems to be appropriate."

Mr Biden has met and had several conversations with the Floyd family.

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