After he was sentenced to twenty-two and a half years in prison, we've been given a little look into Chauvin's life in prison.
Read on to see what it's like...
Now, it's been a crucial time for America's justice system.
The highly-anticipated murder trial for Derek Chauvin kicked off in Minneapolis at the Hennepin County Courthouse on March 29th just under a year after the former police officer knelt on George Floyd, a Black man's neck, ultimately killing him.
According to the Daily Mail, the prosecution started proceedings by playing the horrifying video of the moment the accused, Derek Chauvin, dug his knee into George Floyd's neck as he cried out, "I can't breathe."
As the trial of Derek Chauvin begins, my thoughts are with the Floyd family and every American impacted by racist p… https://t.co/VS7xyG75Tz— George Takei (@George Takei)1617063128.0
Special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury in his opening statement:
"You can believe your eyes. That it's homicide, it's murder."
During the initial trial, many people have been called forward to testify...
Including a 911 operator who witnessed the ordeal via CCTV.
"You're going to learn that there was a 911 dispatcher. Her name is Jena Scurry," Blackwell told the jury. "There was a fixed police camera that was trained on this particular scene. She could see through the camera what was going on."
Scurry witnessed the entire ordeal...
And was the one to call the police on the police.
Fearing that Chauvin and the 3 other officers who stood by were taking things too far, Scurry called Minneapolis Sgt. David Pleoger, who oversaw the officers involved in the arrest in progress.
"You will learn that what she saw was so unusual and, for her, so disturbing that she did something that she had never done in her career."
As prosecutors played the police camera video of Floyd on the ground, Scurry explained:
"My instincts were telling me something was wrong. It was a gut instinct of the incident: Something is not going right. Whether it be they needed more assistance. Just something wasn't right."
Never-before-seen bodycam footage from the events of May 25th was also presented to the jury...
And gave fresh details of the minutes leading up to Floyd's arrest, as well as the moment he was confronted by the police officers.
As reported by BBC News, the court was shown bodycam footage from Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, all of whom are facing aiding and abetting charges.
In the footage, Floyd can be seen sitting behind the wheel of his car, begging the officers not to shoot him.
At one point, one of the officers pulls his gun as Floyd continues to plead with them.
Floyd was visibly very distressed by the presence of the police officers, and can be heard saying:
"Please don't shoot me, please, man… I just lost my mom."
He can then be heard trying to assure the officers that he'll "do anything you tell me to"...
"I'm not a bad guy, man."
Of course, the footage was utterly chilling to watch.
Days on from that revelation, the prosecution called an outside expert witness to testify about Floyd's cause of death.
Prosecutors say that Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck contributed to his death...
While Chauvin's defense argued that Floyd's use of illicit drugs and his underlying medical conditions were the key factors.
Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonary and critical medicine doctor with forty-five years of experience in the field also testified...
And he wholeheartedly supported the theory that Floyd was killed as a result of Chauvin's pressure on his neck.
Dr. Tobin confirmed that Floyd died due to a low level of oxygen caused by the combination of being handcuffed in the prone position on the ground...
And Chauvin's left knee on his neck and right knee on his back, compromising his ability to breathe.
"Mr. Floyd died from a low level of oxygen, and this caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused a PEA arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop."
The jury was shown an image from an officer's body camera video in which Floyd's knuckles are seen pressed against the tire of the squad car while Chauvin's knees are on his neck and back.
Dr. Tobin said that while this gesture would not seem important to most people, it was "extraordinarily significant" to a physiologist.
"This tells you that [Floyd] has used up his resources, and he's now literally trying to breathe with his fingers and knuckles," he said. "He was using his fingers and his knuckles against the street to try and crank up the right side of his chest... it was his only way to try and get air to get into the right lung."
The jury was also shown an image where Chauvin's toe was seen lifted off the ground while his knee was on Floyd's neck.
“The toe of his boot is no longer touching the ground, this means that all of his body weight is being directed dow… https://t.co/8Zjyw5EtNP— Omar Jimenez (@Omar Jimenez)1617895882.0
This meant 91.5 pounds, half of Chauvin's weight, was directly compressing Floyd's neck at that point, Dr.Tobin said.
The evidence continued to stack up against Chauvin...
And, clearly, in panic mode, his defense continued to stress that Floyd had already put himself at risk by swallowing drugs and resisting officers trying to arrest him - factors that compounded his vulnerability to a diseased heart, raising sufficient doubt that Chauvin should be acquitted.
Before the verdict, Chauvin spoke for the first time.
On the morning of April 15th, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not risk making self-incriminating statements, laying to rest speculation over whether or not he would take the stand.
It was the only time Chauvin's voice was heard in court, other than in videos played to the jury of him kneeling on Floyd.
Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, questioned him about his decision on testifying, mentioning that they had spoken multiple times about whether Chauvin should testify in a "lengthy meeting."
"Have you made a decision today whether you intend to testify or whether you intend to invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege?" Nelson asked.
"I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today," Chauvin replied.
However, despite his defense's best efforts...
Things didn't go in Chauvin's favor.
Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
The jury found the former police officer guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
And just a few weeks after the trial, Chauvin was sentenced to twenty-two and a half years in prison.
Only 2 days ago, Chauvin was sentenced to over 2 decades in prison, and under Minnesota law, he will have to serve two-thirds of his sentence, around fifteen years and then he will be eligible for supervised release for the remaining 7 and a half years.
Peter Cahill, the judge, said this:
"I acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all of the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family."
He continued, telling everyone that he believed Chauvin "abused his position of trust or authority" and treated Floyd with "particular cruelty." He added that Chauvin treated him "without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings," also stating that he "objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd's pleas' even as Mr. Floyd was begging for his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die."
When the news was revealed, the Floyd family rejoiced.
Of course, it did not completely soften the loss of their loved one, but it did give them a little bit of justice.
Floyd's mother described her son as a "good man."
Ben Crump, their lawyer tweeted: "This historic sentence brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability."
22.5 YEARS! This historic sentence brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability.— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) June 25, 2021
President Joe Biden also added that it seemed "appropriate" given the circumstances.
Within minutes of the news, comments on social media flooded in with a lot of mixed comments...
Today’s sentencing of Derek Chauvin is another step towards accountability for the murder of George Floyd, but it does not bring us true justice. It’s long past time for the Senate to pass police reforms.— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) June 26, 2021
Derek Chauvin would be a free man if there wasn’t a video.— Jesus Fucking Christ 🌈 (@SHEsus__Christ) June 26, 2021
Our justice system didn’t hold him accountable, a teenager with a phone did.
If anything Derek Chauvin’s sentence highlighted the huge disparities in the American justice system. pic.twitter.com/EmtNWA1mga— KeanoTheDog (@judgeyourself99) June 27, 2021
I will not defend or advocate for #DerekChauvin. He had ample time to help #GeorgeFloyd. His lack of humanity & indecision contributed to his death. As a result, all police were cast in a negative light & the country has suffered. He is where he belongs. In prison. He is not me.— Angel L Maysonet🇵🇷🇺🇸👮🏻♂️💙🖤 (@bigricanman) June 26, 2021
I get concerned when we call for greater harshness for those, like Derek Chauvin, we despise. Because I know that calls for greater harshness only further entrench the brutally harsh & violent criminal system that disproportionately targets & devastates people like George Floyd.— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) June 26, 2021
But now that it's all over, people are wondering what life will be like for Chauvin in prison.
While we don't know exactly what Derek Chauvin's experience in prison will be like, it is highly likely he won't be placed with the general prison population due to safety concerns.
According to Nicki Swift, it is possible Chauvin's future in prison will mirror the "restricted housing unit" he stayed in during the trial.
Speaking to The Washington Post, Chauvin is currently allowed a "maximum of 10 photos, a radio, and canteen food."
"He also can subscribe to periodicals and have three or fewer non-contact visits each week."
And as for his cell, according to photos seen by the outlet, it is an empty cell in the unit that has white cinderblock walls, slim rectangular windows, a metal toilet and sink, and a thin mattress on a fixed bedframe.
It's safe to say Chauvin is one lucky man, considering he won't be thrown in with the general population.
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