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Federal Judge Sentences Derek Chauvin to 21 Years in Prison

He was charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights

Derek Chauvin was sentenced to just more than 20 years in prison Thursday, nearly seven months after he pleaded guilty to federal charges that he violated George Floyd's civil rights when he knelt on Floyd's neck for 9½ minutes as he was detaining him in May 2020. Before handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson called Chauvin's treatment of Floyd "offensive" and "unconscionable."

"I really don't know why you did what you did," the judge said. "But to put your knee on another person's neck until they expire is simply wrong and for that conduct you must be substantially punished."

Federal prosecutors had asked Magnuson to sentence Chauvin to 25 years, on the high end of the 20- to 25-year range of the plea agreement, saying Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer and acted callously.

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