When Judge Peter Cahill took the bench in Minneapolis Friday for the sentencing of Derek Chauvin, he did something that is an extreme rarity in the U.S. legal system — punishing a now-former police officer convicted of murder while on duty Friday’s sentencing of Derek Chauvin was held before Judge Peter Cahill in Minneapolis. He did something very rare in the U.S. legal systems — he punished a former police officer who was convicted of murder in his official capacity.
According to data released by the Police Integrity Research Group of Bowling Green State University this week, only nine law enforcement officers have been sentenced for murdering people in the line of duty in the last 16 years.
According to data the group has collected since 2005, Chauvin, 45 was convicted in Minnesota by a Hennepin County jury for murdering George Floyd in 2020.
Chauvin was sentenced by Cahill to 22 1/2 years imprisonment, which is 10 years more than the 12 1/2 year recommended by the state’s presumptive sendingencing guidelines.
The eleventh officer to be sentenced for murder on the job may come in quick succession, when William Darby, a Huntsville, Alabama, police is sentenced in August for the murder of a suicidal man, Jeffrey Parker, in 2018. The 11th officer to be sentenced on the job for murder may be in rapid succession. In August, William Darby is sentenced by Huntsville, Alabama police for the 2018 murder of Jeffrey Parker. Darby was testified by an officer who claimed she was trying to calm the situation after Parker threatened suicide. Darby is still on force.
Rarer still, is the way Chauvin committed the murder. Seven of the nine officers sentenced for on-duty murders since 2005 shot their victims, said Philip Stinson, a professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University and the lead investigator for the Police Integrity Research Group.
Floyd’s killing, which was captured on video, sparked a national uproar, a push for police reform and an unprecedented protest movement. Chauvin’s sentencing was equally charged, with family and advocates calling for the judge to give him the maximum of 40 years. Prosecutors asked for 30 years due to several aggravating factors, but the defense requested only probation because of Chauvin’s lack of criminal history and membership in a “broken” policing system.