Trial postponed for three U.S. ex-police charged in Floyd death

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said in a ruling signed on Tuesday that the court had pinpointed multiple facts that support an aggravated durational departure, which means the eventual sentence can go beyond the usual guideline range. People demanding justice for George Floyd gathered tonight outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been ongoing for the past two weeks.

Derek Chauvin, a 17-year veteran of the Minneapolis police department, is to be sentenced on June 25 for Floyd's May 25, 2020 killing. The former officer faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for the third-degree murder charge, and up to 10 for manslaughter.

Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of murder and manslaughter for his role in Floyd's death, which sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality around the world. Cahill said the factors he will consider when sentencing the former Minneapolis police officer include his abuse of authority, the fact that he "treated George Floyd with particular cruelty", the presence of children, and that Chauvin committed the crime with the "active participation" of at least three other people. Cahill's ruling this week means he can potentially sentence Chauvin beyond the guideline range.

A pre-sentence investigation report will also be conducted.

But Cahill said one of the other officers twice checked Floyd's pulse and told Chauvin he detected none, while another officer suggested rolling Floyd to his side and said he was passing out.

Mr Cahill disagreed with prosecutor's fifth point, which was that Mr Floyd was a "particularly vulnerable victim". The first, that Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority.

Chauvin's defence argued that the aggravating factors were unproved and that the defendant was legally authorised to use reasonable force.

Nelson also argued Floyd was not treated with particular cruelty, saying that there is no evidence that the assault perpetrated by Chauvin involved gratuitous pain that's not usually associated with second-degree murder.

A video taken by a bystander showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes as he was handcuffed facedown on the street struggling to breathe. If convicted on those charges, which were unsealed Friday, a federal sentence would be served at the same time as Chauvin's state sentence. A few of the witnesses who testified during the trial were under 18 at the time of Floyd's death.

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