During his sentencing on Friday, convicted murderer Derek Chauvin finally broke his silence and addressed the court before offering a cryptic message to the family of George Floyd, who he killed last year by applying deadly pressure with his knee to the neck of the unarmed and handcuffed Black man.
Chauvin spoke briefly after Floyd’s family members delivered their victim impact statements and lawyers from both sides appealed to Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who decided what the prison sentence would be.
Taking off his mask, Chauvin exposed his face at the urging of his lawyer, Eric Nelson, and suggested he was being prevented from saying what he really wanted to say.
“At the time, due to some additional legal matters at hand, I’m not able to give a full-formed statement at this time,” Chauvin began in an apparent attempt to show his purported remorse for brutally and callously killing a man suspected of the nonviolent crime of using a counterfeit $20 bill.
“Briefly though,” Chauvin continued.
“I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family,” he said while mechanically turning his head in their direction in the courtroom.
He kept looking at them.
“There’s gonna be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope things will give you some peace of mind,” he added before finishing with a simple, “Thank you.”
Absent from Chauvin’s words was any semblance of an apology.
Before Chauvin addressed the court, his mother delivered her own victim impact statement but also did not offer any apology.
“The public will never know the loving and caring man he is that his family does,” Pawlenty said.
As for what Chauvin meant by “some other information in the future that would be of interest,” that much was not immediately clear. But it seems to suggest that he has plans beyond prison, somewhere Floyd’s family is expecting for him to stay for a long time.
All of that took place before Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 270 months in prison, or 22.5 years. Cahill cited Chauvin’s “particular cruelty” ahead of delivering the sentence, which provided for the aggravating factors like committing the murder in front of children. Those factors added an extra 10 years onto Chauvin’s sentence, which means that without them he would have only gotten 12.5 years, much less time than what prosecutors and Floyd’s family had been demanding.