WASHINGTON, June 25 (Xinhua) — Former U.S. police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced on Friday to 270 months, or 22.5 years in prison, for the murder of African American George Floyd last year in Minneapolis, Minnesota state.
Chauvin “is the first white officer in Minnesota to face prison time for the killing of a Black man,” according to Minnesota Public Radio.
“We need to recognize the pain of the Floyd family,” Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said in court.
The sentence was not based on emotion or sympathy, the judge noted.
Members of Floyd’s family were present in the courtroom for the hearing.
Chauvin, who was found guilty of murdering Floyd by a jury in April, said he declined to give a formal statement in court due to “additional legal matters,” but expressed his condolences to the Floyd family.
In his earlier ruling, Cahill concluded that Chauvin abused his “position of trust and authority” as a police officer and displayed “particular cruelty” when he knelt on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes during his arrest. Floyd was later pronounced dead at hospital.
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder and manslaughter as well as third-degree murder in April.
Floyd’s death sparked weeks of nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism last summer.