A release or thirty years in prison? White policeman Derek Chauvin, convicted of the murder of African-American George Floyd, and prosecutors in charge of the case on Wednesday asked the courts for sentences in the antipodes.
In documents sent ahead of the hearing on June 25, during which the sentence will be fixed, the 45-year-old agent suggests a prison sentence reduced to the time already served, pleading to have committed “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 force in Minnesota (approximately twelve years of detention), writes his lawyer Me 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. “Mr. Chauvin’s crime is more an error made in good faith on the basis of his experience as a police officer and his training than an intentional illegal act,” argues Mr. Nelson.
Shortly thereafter, the prosecution forwarded its own arguments, requesting 30 years in prison for what it called “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 that the range of 10 to 15 years recommended by the grid in force. in Minnesota for unintentional murder with no record.
The death of George Floyd, filmed and broadcast on the internet, sparked huge 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.