Policeman Who Killed George Floyd Sentenced to Over 22 Years in Jail

Published June 27th, 2021 - 08:15 GMT
George Floyd was killed after a policeman kneeled on his nick in April. 
Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison today after being convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd. Brandon Bell/Getty Images/AFP
Derek Chauvin, 45, was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison on Friday for the murder of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin was thrust into the spotlight again on Friday as he returned to a Minnesota court to be sentenced for the death of George Floyd. 

The former cop, 45, appeared unresponsive as a judge ordered him to spend 22-and-a-half years behind bars after he was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder back in April. 

But while Chauvin has garnered a reputation for appearing both passive and reserved in court, body language expert Patti Wood says both his facial expressions and his posture indicate he is experiencing a range of intense emotions. 

Wood provided her expert analysis on Chauvin's behavior to DailyMail.com, claiming the convicted killer showed 'fear in his eyes' as his sentence was handed down. 

She additionally stated that Chauvin's slumped shoulders indicated a 'loss of pride' and that it looked as if he 'felt shame' when his own mom, Carolyn Pawlenty, addressed the court. 

Chauvin's body froze in reaction to threat and his darting eyes indicated fear as he was sentenced to 22.5 years in jail

To the average observer, it appeared that Chauvin failed to react at all when he was sentenced on Friday. 

Indeed, Wood claims that it is 'disturbing to the public that Chauvin was not outwardly emotional' during the entirety of his legal proceedings. 

But the body language expert asserts that the former police officer was actually experiencing a severe emotional reaction when he learned he would be spending more than two decades in prison. 

After viewing footage of the sentencing, Wood says Chauvin simply froze in response to threat or danger. 

'Fight or flight aren't the only natural reactions to threat,' Wood explained, saying that 'freeze' is also a common mode of response. 

'The general public see that as cold, but it's actually a natural reaction,' she stated. 

And while his body may not have moved, Chauvin's darting eyes and furrowed brow additionally indicated that he was fearful.  

'His facial expressions are very intense. His eyes are dating back and forth as if saying 'where do I go? What do I do?' It's a very obvious indication of fear,' Wood said. 

Chauvin's slumped shoulders showed a loss of pride as he spoke to the Floyd family, and his low, hoarse voice indicated extreme fatigue 

During Friday's legal proceedings, Chauvin took to a microphone to offer his condolences directly to the family that George Floyd left behind. 

Wood says Chauvin's posture during the episode was a direct contrast to the way he usually comports himself in the courtroom. 

'For much of his trial, he sat with his shoulders back and up and his chest outward,' Wood stated, 'but during his speech he had a sunken chest and a deep profound slope of the shoulders'. 

'That shows loss of pride, as if he is literally sunken down.'

She added that the Chauvin angled his body a little away from the microphone, which suggested some sort of hesitation.  

Additionally, his voice was low and hoarse, indicating fatigue and a lack of conviction. 

Wood says both Chauvin's non-committed voice and body language simply do not match the assertive words of his address. 

Chauvin felt 'shame' as he kept his eyes down while his own mom addressed the court

Chauvin's mother, Carolyn Pawlenty,  spoke during the sentencing hearing on Friday where she begged the judge for mercy.   

Wood says Chauvin's body language throughout that speech appeared to show he felt shameful. 

'He was looking down, rather than at her and his body was not facing directly  towards her,' Wood noted. 

 'Most people would want to connect with their mother, to look directly at them and offer them some comfort and reassurance, but he is turned away from her and his eyes are lowered.

'It seems it was painful for him to hear her, so much so that he tried to turn away and not watch' the body language expert continued.  

'There are indications of embarrassment and shame.'

Judge Peter Cahill handed down the sentence of 22.5 years - the longest an officer has ever received for unlawful use of deadly force - and granted Chauvin 199 days already served. 

He will likely serve just 15 years and could be released on good behavior once he's eligible for parole, which many demonstrators chanting outside the Minneapolis courtroom said wasn't enough. 

'This is based on your abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd,' Judge Cahill said to the disgraced former cop. 'I'm not basing my sentencing on public opinion, I'm not basing it on any attempt to send any messages.' 

Cahill also addressed Floyd's family, who had spoken out in emotional victim impact statements, telling them, 'I acknowledge and hear the pain that you're feeling.' 

In addition to jail time, Chauvin is also prohibited from possessing a gun, ammunition, or explosives for the remainder of his life and is required also register as a predatory offender. As a first-time offender, Chauvin had potentially faced 12 and a half years in prison, and the most serious charge that Chauvin was convicted of - second-degree murder - carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. 

Chauvin was found guilty in April on all three counts - second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter - for kneeling on 46-year-old Floyd's neck for nine minutes in May 2020.  

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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