Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin faces the prospect of a lengthier prison sentence after a judge this week agreed with prosecutors that he abused his position of authority while arresting George Floyd past year.
But Cahill disagreed with prosecutors who argued that Floyd was "particularly vulnerable" because he was handcuffed and held facedown on the street. Floyd, 46, a Black father, repeatedly said he couldn't breathe.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat, and other prosecutors had presented Cahill in a recent motion with five factors that would trigger an aggravated sentence. Chauvin's sentencing is now set to take place in June.More news: Students and teacher killed in shooting at Russian school
Although a jury found Chauvin guilty on all three charges he was facing, Minnesota law dictates he will face sentencing only on the most serious charge: second-degree murder. "The State therefore respectfully requests that the Court find the facts necessary to support the existence of these five aggravating factors, and that the Court impose an aggravated sentence on that basis", prosecutors said in the filing. Chauvin and the three other police officers who were at the scene were fired a day after Floyd's death.
The service is meant to honor the memory of Floyd as an individual, but also as one of many people of color who have been killed by police in the United States, and also to honor the national movement to end police brutality and systemic racism.
"The slow death of George Floyd occurring over approximately six minutes of his positional asphyxia was particularly cruel in that Mr. Floyd was begging for his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die but during which the Defendant objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd's pleas", Cahill said in his ruling.More news: Man shot to death at Vancouver airport was subject of public warning
Prosecutors sought an upward departure from that duration, arguing that there were multiple aggravating factors in the case.
Cahill said when it became clear to bystanders that Floyd was in distress and stopped breathing, Chauvin continued to abuse his position of authority by not rendering aid.
He could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter.More news: Clashes Between Palestinians, Israeli Police In Jerusalem Leave Many Injured
Defendant treated George Floyd with particular cruelty. If convicted on those charges, which were unsealed Friday, a federal sentence would be served at the same time as Chauvin's state sentence. Three other former Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's death - J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao - will be tried together in a trial set to begin August 23.