On Sunday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a “60 Minutes” interview with CBS’ Scott Pelley that when it comes to sentencing former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd, “it is important for the Court to not go light or heavy.” He added, “the sentence should be tailored to the offense, tailored to the circumstances of the case. … the state never wanted revenge against Derek Chauvin. We just wanted accountability.”
Last week a grand jury found Chauvin guilty on three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The maximum sentence for the second-degree murder charge is 40 years in prison, the maximum sentence for the third-degree murder charge is 25 years behind bars and the maximum sentence for the second-degree manslaughter charge is 10 years.
Pelley pointed out during the hour-long interview that the Attorney General could’ve charged Chauvin with a hate crime under Minnesota law in addition to the other charges the former Minneapolis police officer faced. However, Ellison stated there wasn’t any evidence to support that Chauvin targeted Floyd because of his race. Ellison implied that there seems to be more cases where minorities are killed at the hands of police officers at a rate higher than their white counterparts. Adding “in order for us to stop and pay serious attention to this case and be outraged by it, it’s not necessary that Derek Chauvin had a specific racial intent to harm George Floyd.”
According to reports, Chauvin’s sentencing is slated for June 16. Until then, he’s based at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, a maximum security prison.