Derek Chauvin, who was convicted earlier this year on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his involvement in George Floyd's death, was sentenced to over 20 years in prison on Friday.
"Mr. Chauvin asks the Court to look beyond its findings, to his background, his lack of criminal history, his amenability to probation, to the unusual facts of this case, and to his being a product of a 'broken' system," defense attorney Eric Nelson wrote, adding that his client should instead receive probation and time served or a sentence less than what the law recommends.
According to Minnesota law, the former policeman can only be sentenced on the most serious charge, which is unintentional second-degree murder. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, NBC News reported. However, the state's sentencing guidelines recommend 10- 15 years in prison for someone like Chauvin who has no criminal history.
Prosecutors noted four factors as they pushed for a higher sentence than recommended by the guidelines. One of the factors, according to prosecutors, was that "Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority."
Prosecutors also said the officer treated Floyd with particular cruelty, he committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least three other people and children were present during the offense.
Floyd's family was allowed to deliver victim impact statements at the sentencing, which took place at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Chauvin, who has been held at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, also had an opportunity to speak before he was sentenced.
Ahead of the sentencing, judge Peter Cahill denied Chauvin's motion for a new trial. The judge said the defendant failed to prove abuses from the court as well as prosecutorial or juror misconduct, CBS News reported.
The former officer was convicted in April, nearly a year after killing Floyd. A viral video recorded by a witness showed the 45-year-old white officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, causing him to suffocate and leading to months of protests across the country.
Chauvin is also expected to be arraigned in September for a separate indictment related to an incident in which he allegedly used unreasonable force on a 14-year-old in 2017.
Prosecutors said a 30-year prison sentence for Chauvin "would properly account for the profound impact of Defendant's conduct on the victim, the victim's family, and the community."