Judge: 'Aggravating Factors' Proven in Chauvin Trial

The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis

The judge who oversaw Derek Chauvin's murder trial ruled Wednesday that there were four aggravating factors in the killing of George Floyd, a decision that allows the judge to give Chauvin a lengthier prison sentence. He also cited the presence of children when he committed the crime and the fact Chauvin was part of a group with at least three other people.

"The renewed movement for racial justice and healing that began in the streets of Minneapolis after the murder of George Floyd, and quickly spread throughout the country and around the world, has inspired a deeper awakening to the ways systemic racism form the very foundations of the institutions they make up our common life, including our church", said Loya in a press release issued by the Diocese of MI, whose bishop helped organize the service. Floyd's murder sparked a massive wave of protests in the U.S. against police brutality and racism.

Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of murder and manslaughter for his role in Floyd's death, which sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality around the world.

Under the state's sentencing guidelines, Chauvin, who had no criminal history, would have faced a presumptive sentence of 12 ½ years on that count, he said. Prosecutors sought an upward departure from that duration, arguing that there were multiple aggravating factors in the case. They noted that Chauvin held his position even after Floyd became unresponsive and officers knew he had no pulse.

Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced June 25. "Both sides will argue on whether a departure is appropriate, and how long it should be".

A pre-sentence investigation report will also be conducted.

Cahill agreed with prosecutors, other than their argument that Floyd was particularly vulnerable. He said prosecutors did not prove that Floyd was particularly vulnerable, noting that even though he was handcuffed, he was able to struggle with officers who were trying to put him in a squad auto. He found that (1) Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority, and (2) he treated Floyd with particular cruelty. Chauvin's defense attorney, Eric Nelson, said those factors did not apply. He said Chauvin had legal authority to assist in Floyd's arrest and was authorized under law to use reasonable force. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Chauvin was captured on video kneeling on the neck of 46-year-old Floyd for more than nine minutes until he passed out and died. Minnesota convicts serve two-thirds of their sentence in jail and the other one-third outside of jail.

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