June 3 (UPI) — Prosecutors on Wednesday asked a Minnesota judge to sentence former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 30 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.
In a court filing Wednesday, prosecutors cited Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill’s ruling last month that aggravating factors existed in Floyd’s killing providing the opportunity for an extended sentence for Chauvin.
Prosecutors said the punishment, twice the maximum sentence of 15 years for second-degree murder under state sentencing guidelines, would “properly account for the profound impact” of Chauvin’s actions.
“Defendant brutally murdered Mr. Floyd, abusing the authority conferred by his badge,” they wrote. “His actions traumatized Mr. Floyd’s family, the bystanders who watched Mr. Floyd die and the community. And his conduct shocked the nation’s conscience.”
Chauvin was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in April. In May, prosecutors cited four aggravating factors in the case including the fact that Floyd was “particularly vulnerable,” that Chauvin acted as part of a group, that the crime was committed in the presence of several children and that Chauvin abused his position of authority as a police officer.
“No sentence can undo Mr. Floyd’s death and no sentence can undo the trauma Defendant’s actions have inflicted,” prosecutors wrote Wednesday. “But the sentence the court imposes must show that no one is above the law and no one is below it.”
In a separate filing, Chauvin’s attorneys requested that his sentence be limited to time already served and that he receive probation.
His attorneys asked the court to consider Chauvin’s age, the fact that he “has been preliminarily diagnosed with heart damage” and that he would be likely to become a target in prison along with his lack of criminal history, cooperation with the investigation and conduct in court.
They also argued that Chauvin would not have knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes if he believed he was committing a crime.
“Mr. Chauvin’s offense is best described as an error made in good faith reliance his own experience as a police officer and the training he had received — not intentional commission of an illegal act,” his attorneys said.
Chauvin is set to be sentenced on June 25.