At an emotional sentencing hearing for convicted murderer Derek Chauvin on Friday, the family of George Floyd took the stand to speak directly to the man who killed their loved one.
“I wanted to know, from the man himself, why?” Terrence Floyd asked the former Minneapolis police officer during the hearing.
Chauvin was convicted in April of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in the death of Floyd, who was Black. Video of the fatal encounter showed Chauvin pushing his knee into Floyd’s neck as he lay dying.
“What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?” Terrence Floyd asked Friday. “Why, when you knew that he posed no threat anymore ― he was handcuffed ― why you didn’t at least get up? Why you stayed there?”
George Floyd’s other brother, Philonise Floyd, asked Judge Peter Cahill to give Chauvin the highest sentence he could.
“I’m asking that you find it suitable to please give Officer Chauvin the maximum sentence possible for the charge that he has been found guilty for,” Philonise said during his testimony. “My family and I have been given a life sentence. We will never be able to get George back.”
Philonise said his niece, Gianna, will not get to spend the “magical moments of her life,” like her first prom or her graduation, with her father.
“She will never be able to have personal memories with her father,” he said.
In her own testimony, 7-year-old Gianna Floyd reminisced about moments she’d shared with her dad.
“We used to have dinner meals every single night before we went to bed,” she said. “My daddy always used to help me brush my teeth.”
Cahill ultimately sentenced Chauvin to 22 years and six months in prison.
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