A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Derek Chauvin to 21 years in prison for violating George Floyd’s civil rights, a move that adds a few years to the time the former Minneapolis police officer is already serving for his murder conviction while transferring him to federal custody.
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson’s sentence came after Chauvin had agreed to a plea deal that called for a sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years. Federal prosecutors had sought the top end of that range, arguing that Chauvin, who is white, killed Floyd in cold blood when he pinned the Black man to the pavement outside a Minneapolis corner store on May 25, 2020, for more than 9 minutes as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.
Chauvin’s attorney had sought 20 years, arguing that Chauvin was remorseful.
During Thursday’s hearing, Chauvin told Floyd’s family that he “wishes all the best” for Floyd’s children. But Chauvin’s brief remarks included no direct apology or expression of remorse to Floyd’s family.
Chauvin is already serving a 22 1/2-year sentence on state charges of murder and manslaughter.
The plea deal called for Chauvin to serve the sentences at the same time and to be transferred from a Minnesota state prison to a federal prison, where experts say he likely will be safer and may be held under less restrictive conditions.