June 26 (Reuters) – Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer convicted in the death of George Floyd, was handed his sentence Friday.
Chauvin was handed a 270-month sentence, minus time served, by Judge Peter Cahill.
In April, Chauvin, 45, was found guilty on three counts: Second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes. He is widely expected to appeal.
Chauvin was sentenced on the most serious charge, second-degree unintentional murder, which under Minnesota law has a maximum sentence of 40 years.
Juror on sentencing: ‘It’s justice and despair’
Brandon Mitchell, who served on the jury in the murder trial, reacted to the sentencing Friday night, telling ABC News Live Prime’s Juju Chang that he thought the jail time would be higher.
“I think it’s a little bit on the light side, but it is justice and despair,” Mitchell said. “I think the judge did a great job with that. I was maybe expecting more closer to 25 to 30 [years], but 22 1/2 is still justice.”
“There’s no bringing them back to your loved one,” Mitchell said of the Floyd family. “Their loved one is never coming back. And so for them, I feel for them. My prayers are with them and I hope that they are able to get some kind of peace from the sentencing.”
Former Chauvin trial juror on sentencing: ‘I do think it’s justice’ABC News’ @JujuChangABC speaks with juror Brandon Mitchell after officer Derek Chauvin’s sentencing in George Floyd’s murder.https://t.co/6PhHTpozCP pic.twitter.com/44tmXO5AoW— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) June 25, 2021
Mitchell came into the spotlight last month after a photograph of him wearing a Black Lives Matter hat and shirt with a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. that said, “Get your knee off our necks,” while at an August 2020 march was widely circulated on social media. Chauvin’s defense included the photograph in a court filing arguing for a new trial and change of venue, alleging Mitchell “came to a verdict to further political and social causes.”
Mitchell defended his impartiality as a juror after the photo’s circulation and told the Star Tribune that he was “extremely honest” during the jury selection process.
Reflecting on his experience as a juror two months after the trial, Mitchell told Chang, “It just makes me take a step back and just say how important it is to be a part of a jury and just how much change that we have to do in terms of policing in the United States in general.”
“These are situations that we have to find a way to avoid and they should never happen,” he said.