Derek Chauvin breaks silence in first prison interview over George Floyd’s murder

Derek Chauvin breaks silence in first prison interview over George Floyd’s murder

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted for the murder of George Floyd, spoke out in his first prison interview as part of a recently released documentary.

“At the end of the day, the whole trial, including sentencing, was a sham,” Chauvin, who was ordered to spend 22-and-a-half years in prison, said from a federal facility in Tucson, Arizona.

The former officer was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for placing his knee on Floyd’s neck for approximately nine minutes.

During that time, Floyd begged officers to release him, telling them, “I can’t breathe”.

Chauvin’s comments in The Fall of Minneapolis largely centred on his sentencing, the media narrative surrounding his case and the training he and other officers undertook prior to 25 May 2020, the day Floyd was killed.

J Alexander Kueng, one of the four officers who responded to the incident outside Cup Foods, also spoke to documentarians from a prison in Lisbon, Ohio. He pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and was ordered to serve three years in prison.

Speaking of his sentencing, he said, “What’s been done is done. I just hope at the very least, people in the future keep an open mind and not let instances like this happen.

“Use my case as an example to not jump the gun, not knee jerk, not fall to this race bait, to the social media, to the media and not let them get away with what they do.”

Former officers Thomas Lane and Tou Thao were separately charged and sentenced for their involvement in Floyd’s death. Lane was given three years in prison, while Thao was handed four years and nine months.

Kueng, who is Black, said he did not blame Chauvin for the outcome of the case.

“The way I see it, he made the decision he thought was right. He’s always been one that was by the book and legally abiding.”

The officers said that evidence regarding the use of force technique called the Maximal Restraint Technique, implemented on Floyd was put before the 12-member jury. Both Chauvin and Kueng said their training included using the technique.

Furthermore, the amount of media attention on the case during the trial meant that it would be difficult for the jury to remain impartial, Floyd’s attorney said at a hearing.

In June, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its findings into a probe of the Minneapolis Police Department and the city of Minneapolis, claiming investigators found a pattern of both agencies engaging in conduct violating the U.S. Constitution and federal law.

In particular, The DOJ said it found instances of excessive force, including unjustifiable deadly force and unreasonable use of tasers, instances in which they discriminated against Black people and Native American people and violating the rights of people to engage in protected speech, among others.

On Monday, the US Supreme Court rejected Chauvin’s appeal based on an argument that he did not receive a fair trial.