Former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.
Chauvin, 45, was found guilty by a jury in April of second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as he begged for his life and repeatedly said “I can’t breathe.”
Mr Floyd, a Black man, was killed in May 2020 after police officers responded to a call that he had used a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store in the city.
The sentence is ten years more than the average sentence for the crime, which 12.5 years.
Sentencing Chauvin, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill said, “My comments will be brief.
“What the sentence is not based on is emotion or sympathy, but at the same time I want acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family. I acknowledge and hear the pain you are feeling.
“I am not going to attempt to be profound or clever it is not the appropriate time. I am not basing my sentencing on public opinion, or any attempt to send any messages.”
Mr Floyd’s murder was captured by bystanders on their phones and the viral video led to months of racial injustice protests across the United States.
Chauvin, who wore a grey suit and tie, gave his “condolences to the Floyd family” as he was jailed.
The judge ruled last month that Chauvin had been “particularly cruel” in killing Mr. Floyd in front of children and had abused his authority, and the prosecution had asked for a 30-year sentence.
Earlier in the hearing Chauvin had broken his silence, but said he was not be able to give a formal statement because of other legal issues.
“I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family, there is going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope that things will give you some peace of mind, thank you.”
Under Minnesota law, Chauvin will serve two-thirds of the sentence in prison, and the remaining time on supervised release.
Chauvin will also get credit for time already served in prison as he awaited his sentencing.
Three other police officers involved in the incident, J Alexander Kueng, 27, Thomas Lane, 38, and Tou Thao, 35, face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
They had been due to go trial in August but that has now been moved back to March 2022.
The four officers have also been charged in federal court with violating Mr Floyd’s civil rights during the fatal arrest.
Chauvin also faces a second federal indictment for allegedly violating the civil rights of a 14-year-old boy in 2017.
During that incident he is accused of placing his knee on the teenager’s neck for 17 minutes, causing him to pass out.
The Justice Department is now investigating the Minneapolis Police Department for the alleged systematic violations of the civil rights of people in the city.