Home News Minnesota prosecutor felt ‘a little bad’ for Derek Chauvin after murder conviction

Minnesota prosecutor felt ‘a little bad’ for Derek Chauvin after murder conviction

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he felt “satisfaction” when a jury convicted Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s murder — but admitted he also felt “a little bad” for the disgraced former cop.

“I will admit, I felt a little bad for the defendant,” Ellison told Scott Pelley on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “I think he deserved to be convicted. But he’s a human being.”

But Ellison, a former defense attorney, added, “I’m not in any way wavering on my responsibility. But I hope we never forget that people who are defendants in our criminal justice system, that they’re human beings.”

“I mean, George Floyd was a human being,” he said. “And so I’m not going to ever forget that everybody in this process is a person.”

Ellison spoke ahead of Chauvin’s sentencing on Friday following his conviction in April on second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s May 25, 2020, police-custody death in Minneapolis.

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering Georg Floyd.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd.
Minnesota Department of Corrections

The jury convicted the ex-cop on the second day of deliberations.

But Ellison said he wasn’t sure how the verdict would pan out until it happened — recalling the acquittal of white Los Angeles police officers in the 1991 beating of Rodney King.

“I was never convinced we were going to win this case until we heard the verdict of guilty,” he said. “I remember what happened in the Rodney King case when I was a pretty young man, young lawyer.

“And I remember how devastated I felt when I heard that the jury acquitted those officers,” Ellison said. “Whenever an officer is charged with an offense, particularly when the victim is a person of color, it’s just rare that there’s accountability.”

Prosecutors in the case have asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to sentence the former cop to 30 years in prison.

Derek Chauvin in court after he was convicted on April 20, 2021.
Derek Chauvin in court after he was convicted on April 20, 2021.
Court TV via AP, Pool, File

Chauvin’s lawyers have asked that he be given probation.

Chauvin also wants a new trial, saying the high-profile nature of the case tainted the jury, with prosecutors firing back last week that the judge should deny the request.

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