'Why': George Floyd's family confronts Derek Chauvin at sentencing

Floyd's 7-year-old daughter was among those who provided statements.

June 25, 2021, 4:57 PM

Before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years for the murder of George Floyd, members of George Floyd's family gave emotional statements asking for the maximum sentence.

Floyd's 7-year-old daughter Gianna shared a prerecorded video message at the hearing.

When asked, "Do you wish he was still here with us?" she replied, "He is."

When asked what she would say to her father if she could speak to him right now, Gianna said, "I miss you and I love him."

George Floyd's 7-year-old daughter Gianna testifies via a cell phone video before the sentencing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of her father George Floyd during a sentencing hearing in Minneapolis, June 25, 2021.
Court TV via Reuters

George Floyd's two brothers also provided victim impact statements before the sentence was announced.

Philonise Floyd had to wipe his eyes before addressing the court. He asked Judge Peter Cahill to give Chauvin the maximum sentence -- 40 years -- without the possibility for parole.

"My family and I have been given a life sentence. We will never be able to get George back," he said. "Daddies are a daughter's first love. He'll never be able to walk Gianna down the aisle at her wedding, attend those magical moments of her life."

Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, becomes emotional while giving a victim impact statement, June 25, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, during the sentencing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Court TV via AP

Terrence Floyd, struggling to speak, said his family is now "part of a fraternity of families and it's not one of those fraternities that you enjoy." He asked Chauvin, "Why?"

"I wanted to know from the man himself, why?" he said. "What were you thinking? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother's neck? When you knew that he posed no threat anymore? He was handcuffed, why you didn't at least get up?"

Terrence Floyd recounted a long conversation he had with his brother a month before George Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020.

"The last conversation me and my brother had was he wanted to have play dates. He wanted to plan play dates for Gianna and my daughter," he said. "My daughter is still young, but I still have to explain to her because this is history."

Terrence Floyd, brother of George Floyd, delivers a victim impact statement during the sentencing hearing for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for murder in the death of Floyd in Minneapolis, June 25, 2021.
Court TV via Reuters

George Floyd's nephew, Brandon Williams, called Chauvin's actions "a malicious display of hate and abuse of power" at the hearing.

"Not only did he kill George, he also displayed a total lack of consideration for human life as he did so," Williams said. "You saw it. I saw it. Millions of people across the country and the globe witnessed the agent of hate."

Former police officer Derek Chauvin listens during his sentencing hearing at Hennepin County Government Center, June 25, 2021, in Minneapolis. Chauvin was convicted for murdering George Floyd.
Court TV

Williams asked the court to "bear with me as I attempt the impossible" and find the right words to say.

"The sudden murder of George has forever traumatized us," he said. "You may see us cry. But the full extent of our pain and trauma will never be seen with the naked eye. The heartbreak goes far beyond any number of tears we could cry. Words cannot express the pain, anguish and suffering our family and friends have endured."

Williams also asked for the maximum penalty.

Cahill ultimately sentenced Chauvin to 270 months in prison.

Chauvin gave a brief statement before the sentence was handed down.

"I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family," he said. "There's going to be some other information in the future that will be of interest and I hope things would give you some peace of mind. Thank you."

Carolyn Pawlenty, the mother of former police officer Derek Chauvin, addresses the court during her son's sentencing hearing at Hennepin County Government Center, June 25, 2021, in Minneapolis.
Court TV

His mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, addressed the court on behalf of her son and pleaded for a lesser sentence.

"Derek has played over and over in his head the events of that day. I have seen the toll it has taken on him," she said. "I believe that a lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well. When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me."

She called her son a "quiet, thoughtful, honorable and selfless man" who has a "big heart."

Ahead of Friday afternoon's sentencing hearing, Cahill denied another attempt by Chauvin's defense for a new trial.

ABC News' Marlene Lenthang and Whitney Lloyd contributed to this report.

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