Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will be sentenced for the murder of George Floyd on June 25. A Minneapolis jury convicted Chauvin of murder and manslaughter in April, nearly a year after video of him pinning Floyd under his knee sparked nationwide protests.
Although a jury found Chauvin guilty on all three charges he was facing, Minnesota law dictates he will face sentencing only on the most serious charge: second-degree murder. State sentencing guidelines on that charge recommend 11 to 12 years in prison for someone with no criminal history. However, Judge Peter A. Cahill ruled that Chauvin qualifies for a longer prison sentence for treating Floyd with “particular cruelty.”
Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the most senior officer in the Minneapolis Police Department, testified in the trial that Chauvin’s use of force against George Floyd was “uncalled for” and “totally unnecessary.” Zimmerman said that once someone is handcuffed, “they are not a threat to you at that point” and the amount of force should be immediately reduced. “If your knee is on a person’s neck, that could kill him,” he testified. Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, argued that police can use “improvisation” for “whatever force is reasonable and necessary.”
The Post’s Libby Casey will anchor live coverage of the sentencing featuring reporters Mary Beth Albright, Keith Alexander, Holly Bailey, Rhonda Colvin, Nicole Ellis and Joyce Koh. Plus, columnist James Hohmann will offer analysis. Read more: https://wapo.st/3d6Sos0. Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: https://wapo.st/2QOdcqK