First images of Derek Chauvin in prison are released

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Derek Chauvin was sentenced to over 22 years for murder and manslaughter charges related to the death of George Floyd in May 2020.  (Reuters)
Derek Chauvin was sentenced to over 22 years for murder and manslaughter charges related to the death of George Floyd in May 2020. (Reuters)

The first images of Derek Chauvin in prison have been released after he was sentenced for the murder of George Floyd for 22 years and six months last month.

In April, the former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Mr Floyd died in May 2020 after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes. Mr Floyd’s death sparked a wave of protests against systemic racism and police brutality in the US and across the world.

The newly released photos were taken on 28 June, just days after the sentencing, by the Minnesota Department of Corrections. They appear to be taken by a prison official within the Minnesota Department of Corrections and were first shared by TMZ.

Chauvin was sentenced by Judge Peter Cahill in Hennepin County on 25 June. The sentence handed down was ten years more than the state’s recommendation for the second-degree conviction, which came after the prosecution argued for a harsher sentence.

When he administered the sentence, Judge Cahill said it did not come from “emotion or sympathy”, but the judge paid tribute to “the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family.”

In a victim impact statement, Mr Floyd’s daughter Gianna said she could say anything to her father, “It would be I miss you and I love him”.

Minnesota’s attorney general Keith Ellison said that Chauvin’s sentence was “one of the longest a former police officer has ever received for an unlawful use of deadly force” and it was “another moment of real accountability on the road to justice.”

Under Minnesota’s “good behaviour” law, Chauvin could be released from prison after serving just two-thirds of his sentence and be under licence for the remainder.

Mr Floyd’s death was captured on video by the teenager Darnella Frazier, whose work was awarded with a Pulitzer Prize citation. Her footage counteracted the official police communications about Mr Floyd’s death. The original statement issued was titled “Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction”.

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