Prosecutors are planning to seek a harsher sentence for ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is one of four charged for the murder of George Floyd.
According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison informed Peter Cahill, the judge in Floyd murder case he will be seeking a harsher sentence for Chauvin, for several reasons.
The Minnesota Attorney General says the murder was “especially heinous” because Floyd was killed in front of children.
In the legal docs, Ellison noted that Floyd was in a “particularly vulnerable” state because he was handcuffed and chest down on the pavement, repeatedly telling Chauvin and the other officers he could not breathe.
His decision to seek a harsher sentence comes after recent bodycam footage was released showing Floyd pleading for officers to not shoot him.
“The more video evidence you see, the more unjustifiable George Floyd’s torture and death at the hands of the police becomes,” the family’s attorney Ben Crump said in the statement.
“Although the allegation against George was for a non-violent offense involving a $20 bill, the police officers approached him with guns drawn, simply because he was a Black man. As this video shows, he never posed any threat. The officers’ contradictions continue to build. If not for the videos, the world might never have known about the wrongs committed against George Floyd.”
Chauvin is facing up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the second-degree murder charge. His former colleagues, J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao, and Thomas Lane, are each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 after officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground and kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring his repeated cries of ‘I can’t breathe.’