Derek Chauvin sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for depriving George Floyd of his civil rights

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(CNN) — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will serve 245 months in federal prison for violating George George Floyd’s civil rights.

Senior US District Court Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced Chauvin to 252 months but subtracted seven months for time served.

US attorneys asked the court for Chauvin’s sentence to run concurrently with his state sentence of 22.5 years.

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As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to federal charges of depriving Floyd of his civil rights. He could have faced up to life in prison if he had been convicted at trial.

Prosecutors had asked for a 25-year sentence in prison for violating Floyd’s civil rights, followed by five years of supervised release. His attorney had asked for 20 years.

The US Bureau of Prisons will decide what facility Chauvin will be housed in.

Sarah Greenman, an assistant criminology professor at Hamline University, said life in federal prison is considered to be better than at state facilities.

“It’s less crowded in federal prison, there’s less safety concerns than in a state facility,” she said, adding there are fewer violent offenders in federal prisons, which also have bigger budgets.

Chauvin was sentenced in June 2021 on state charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 killing of Floyd, an assault caught on a video that sparked a national outcry over police brutality and a reckoning over racial justice in America. He has appealed his conviction.

The footage from a Minneapolis street showed Chauvin impassively kneeling on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck and back while he was handcuffed and lying prone in the street for more than 9 minutes, gasping for air and telling Minneapolis officers, “I can’t breathe.”

According to a court document filed by his attorney in late June, Chauvin spends most of his life in solitary confinement at a maximum-security state prison.

Three other former officers were found guilty by a federal jury in February of violating Floyd’s rights on May 25, 2020.

One man, Thomas Lane, has pleaded guilty to state charges. The trial of Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng is scheduled to begin in October.

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