Murder of George Floyd: the police want a minimum sentence, the accusation requires 30 years

The lawyer for Derek Chauvin, the white police officer convicted of the murder of African-American George Floyd, on Wednesday called for his client to be reduced to the time already served behind bars. The prosecution, which focuses on aggravating circumstances, on the contrary hopes for a heavy prison sentence. The hearing is set for June 25.

A release or 30 years in prison? The white police officer Derek Chauvin , convicted of the murder of the African-American George Floyd, and the prosecutors in charge of the file asked, Wednesday, June 2, to the justice of the sentences to the antipodes.

In documents sent ahead of the hearing on June 25, during which the sentence will be set, the 45-year-old agent suggests a prison sentence reduced to the time already served, pleading to have made “a mistake in good faith “.

“Alternatively, Mr. Chauvin respectfully requests that the court grant him mitigating circumstances” and retains a sentence lower than the scale in effect in Minnesota (approximately twelve years of detention), writes his lawyer M e  Eric Nelson. A former police officer, he risks “becoming a target in prison”, argues in particular the lawyer, who also invokes the absence of his client’s record and his “respect for legal proceedings despite the stigma”.

As for the crime itself, he assures us that Derek Chauvin “was not aware of committing one: in his mind, he was fulfilling his mission and helping other police officers to arrest George Floyd” on whose neck he remained kneeling for nearly ten minutes, May 25, 2020, indifferent to his groans and inertia. “The Mr. Chauvin crime is an error made in good faith on the basis of his experience of police training and an intentional unlawful act” argues further M E  Nelson.

“Hateful abuse”

Shortly after, the prosecution forwarded its own arguments, requesting 30 years in prison for what it calls “heinous abuse” and “particularly cruel” conduct. In their indictment, prosecutors recall that Judge Peter Cahill last month retained four aggravating circumstances against the police officer, paving the way for the imposition of a heavy sentence in this resounding case.

The death of George Floyd, filmed and broadcast on the Internet, sparked massive protests around the world against racism and police violence. After several weeks of a protracted trial, the police officer was convicted of murder on April 20 and immediately jailed. 

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