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George Floyd's brother Philonise Floyd (C) speaks flanked by Revl Al Sharpton (2nd L) and Attorney Ben Crump (R) on April 20 following Chauvin's guilty verdict. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and state prosecutors are seeking a more severe sentence for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin following a jury finding him guilty in the murder of George Floyd, according to court documents filed Friday.

Why it matters: Under Minnesota statues, Chauvin will only be sentenced on the most serious charge that he was found guilty of — second-degree murder, AP reports. Experts say he is not expected to be given the maximum sentence of 40 years. He was also found guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Prosecutors cite five factors in support an aggravated sentence for Chauvin:

  • Floyd "was a particularly vulnerable victim" when Chauvin pinned him against the pavement by holding a knee to his neck, since the use of force continued after he became unresponsive. Floyd was also intoxicated.
  • Prosecutors argue that Floyd "was treated with particular cruelty" as he was held on the pavement after repeatedly saying he could not breathe and while bystanders called for Chauvin to stop, and that he was not offered CPR or medical assistance by officers.
  • They also accuse Chauvin of abusing his position of authority as a uniformed officer and committing a crime, as part of a group of three or more people, in the presence of multiple children.

What they're saying: Chauvin's attorneys responded in opposition to a higher sentence by noting that Floyd's size, and his ability to continuously struggle while being restrained during what they described as a lawful arrest, serves as evidence that he was not particularly vulnerable.

  • The defense argued that bystanders were free to leave the scene anytime they wished and that officers called for an ambulance to get Floyd medical attention.
  • His attorneys also stated that the other officers on the scene with Chauvin have not been convicted of a crime related to his own offenses. Former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng are charged with manslaughter as well as aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Go deeper

N.C. governor pardons man wrongfully convicted of murder

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday granted a pardon of innocence to a man who had been in prison since 1995 for two murders he didn't commit.

The state of play: Darryl Anthony Howard, now 59, can file a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission to receive up to $750,000 in restitution, AP reports.

2 hours ago - World

Biden: U.S. combat mission in Iraq will end this year

Biden returning to the White House on July 25. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The United States' combat mission against the Islamic State in Iraq will be completed "by the end of the year," President Biden said Monday prior to a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Why it matters: Biden is close to shifting the U.S. military mission in Iraq to a fully advisory role more than 18 years after combat troops were sent to the country under the former President George W. Bush.

How extreme weather feeds inflation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

This summer's extreme weather is having ripple effects that could raise food prices in the U.S. and disrupt diets around the world.

Why it matters: Climate scientists and food supply experts, like those at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, have long warned about the impact of human-caused global warming on prices, food shortages and hunger.

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