Published: Thu, May 13, 2021
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Former US policeman could face longer sentence for Floyd murder

Former US policeman could face longer sentence for Floyd murder

The multi-diocesan effort will include pre-recorded liturgy, messages and music, including a prayer of lament filmed in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where then-police officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over 9 minutes on May 25, 2020.

In his ruling dated Tuesday, Judge Peter Cahill found that Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer when he restrained Floyd a year ago and that he treated Floyd with particular cruelty. The ruling also found that Chauvin committed his crime as part of a group with the active participation of at least three other officers and acted with children present, including a 9-year-old girl and her 17-year-old cousin whose cellphone video of Floyd's arrest brought global attention to his death.

Prosecutors had called for an upward departure, meaning a sentence longer than what's found within the guideline range.

With Tuesday's ruling, Cahill has given himself permission to sentence Chauvin above the guideline range, though he doesn't have to, said Mark Osler, professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

But Cahill said one of the other officers twice checked Floyd's pulse and told Chauvin he detected none, while another officer suggested rolling Floyd to his side and said he was passing out.

Although a jury found Chauvin guilty on all three charges he was facing, Minnesota law dictates he will face sentencing only on the most serious charge: second-degree murder. Cahill agreed with all but one.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, seen here in an April 21 booking photo, may face a longer sentence after Judge Peter Cahill found aggravating factors in the case.

But Cahill disagreed with prosecutors who argued that Floyd was "particularly vulnerable" because he was handcuffed and held facedown on the street.

Defendant abused a position of trust and authority. A second indictment also charged Chauvin with depriving a 14-year-old boy of his civil rights during a September 2017 encounter in which he is accused of holding the boy by the throat and striking his head multiple times with a flashlight. Chauvin's defense attorney, Eric Nelson, said those factors did not apply.

He could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter.

Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis Police Department officers were recently indicted on federal civil rights charges over Floyd's murder.

Nelson also argued there was "no evidence" that Chauvin had been particularly cruel to Floyd.

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