After being found guilty by a jury of his peers in the police killing of an unarmed Black man, a convicted former police officer has just gotten more bad news.
According to USA Today, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin could face more prison time than expected to face when his sentencing takes place next month for his killing of George Floyd based on a filing by prosecutors to add “aggravating factors” to the expected prison term of Chauvin, a first-time offender.
The previous sentencing guidelines recommend that he receive a sentence of 12½ years for the crime of second-degree murder. With the judge’s recent ruling, Chauvin can face a prison term of up to 30 years in prison.
The judge in the case, Peter Cahill, has ruled that the 45-year-old Chauvin had abused his authority as a police officer when he kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes in May 2020. As Floyd laid there, Chauvin did not render medical aid even when it became clear Floyd was in medical distress, Cahill said in a ruling made public Wednesday.
Cahill also found that Chauvin treated Floyd with “particular cruelty” because of the “prolonged nature of the asphyxiation” and because Floyd had made it clear that he was having trouble breathing. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe,” at least 27 times as seen in a mobile phone video of his death. Cahill also cited two more aggravating factors: The crime was committed in the presence of children and with the active participation of at least three other people.
Prosecutors had argued for a fifth aggravating factor, stating that Floyd was “particularly vulnerable” because he was also handcuffed, placed in the prone position, and intoxicated. But Cahill ruled the state had not proven that aspect beyond a reasonable doubt.
According to the New York Daily News, Cahill wrote, “The slow death of George Floyd occurring over approximately six minutes of his positional asphyxia was particularly cruel in that Mr. Floyd was begging for his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die but during which the Defendant objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd’s pleas.”