A federal judge has sentenced Derek Chauvin, a former police officer who suffocated African-American George Floyd, to 21 years in prison for violating the victim’s civil rights.
Chauvin was already sentenced last year by a Minnesota state court to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of Floyd, of which he will serve 15 years.
The former Minneapolis police officer pleaded guilty last February to violating Floyd’s civil rights after closing an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office to simultaneously serve this sentence with the one he already faces for murder.
Chauvin was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison by Judge Paul Magnuson, who harshly criticized the former police officer’s actions in Floyd’s death.
The Prosecutor’s Office requested a sentence of 25 years, while Chauvin’s defense had requested a maximum of 20 years.
The federal crime of violating a person’s civil rights carries a range of penalties from prison to life in prison and the death penalty, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the injuries that result from it, according to the Department of Justice. .
Floyd died on May 25, 2020 after Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck for more than nine minutes while trying to arrest him for using a counterfeit bill to pay at a store.
Chauvin was accompanied by former agents Thomas Lane, Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were already convicted last February of violating Floyd’s civil rights by not providing assistance while his partner suffocated him.
His murder, which was recorded on video by witnesses on the street, triggered a wave of protests and racial riots in the United States not seen since the assassination of Martin Luther King in the late 1960s.