Thirteen months to the day he murdered George Floyd former police officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22.5 years after being found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
The sentence is less than the maximum possible. Prosecutors had asked for 30 years.
Video showing Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck for nine and a half minutes led Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill last month to declare Chauvin was "particularly cruel" for killing Floyd slowly, as NBC News reported.
Judge Cahill announced he has written a 22-page explanation of "how I determined the sentence" in the case.
"We have to acknowledge the pain of the Floyd family," he urged.
Cahill and many Americans across the nation listened to victim impact statements from four members of Floyd's family, including a recorded video from his young daughter Gianna Floyd.
"We used to have dinner every single night before we went to bed," Gianna said. "My daddy always used to help me brush my teeth."
"I want to play with him, have fun, go on a plane ride," she added. "I ask about him all the time."
Derek Chauvin's mother also spoke to the court, urging mercy, and telling the judge that when he sentences her son he will also be sentencing her. Her remarks were denounced by Nekima Levy Armstrong on MSNBC.
The murder of Floyd, an unarmed Black man whom posed no threat to Chauvin, who is white, sparked nationwide protests and a national reckoning – albeit temporary and transitory – with America's systemic racism and police brutality. Polls showed a huge swing toward Americans believing racism is a national crisis, only to dissipate and revert months later.
"A majority of Americans say policing should be reformed," a PBS NewsHour headline last month reads. "But most white people still don't think police treat Black people differently."
One year ago this month "60% in a USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll described Floyd's death as murder," USA Today reported in March, just before the Chauvin trial began, noting "that percentage has now dropped by double digits to 36%."