Will Derek Chauvin finally apologize at sentencing? George Floyd's killer hasn't said a word in his trial
'I think it's his chance to tell the world, 'I didn't intend to kill him,'' said one defense attorney weighing in on the likelihood of Derek Chauvin speaking at the hearing on June 25
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: With just hours to go before Derek Chauvin is sentenced after being convicted for the unintentional second-degree murder of George Floyd, after kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes, there is considerable anticipation as to whether people will hear him speak after the judge imposes his punishment.
As astonishing as it might be, the disgraced former Minneapolis police officer who caused not only the entire nation but the whole world to voice their outrage against police brutality and racial injustice, has spoken just once about the arrest that ended in George Floyd's death — and this was during the May 25, 2020 incident which resulted in Floyd's death and Chauvin's arrest.
In the body-camera footage, he was heard saying to a bystander at the scene: "We got to control this guy cause he's a sizeable guy... and it looks like he's probably on something." Since he did not even testify during his trial, no one has had a chance to hear him speak publically after that.
Will Derek Chauvin speak?
While some experts think that it's unlikely that Chauvin will run the risk of making a statement after he is sentenced on Friday, June 25, since he stayed mum after he was handed the guilty verdict by a jury on April 20, there are those who disagree.
Local defense attorney Mike Brandt, who is not affiliated with the case, said that Chauvin could say a few words as long as he avoids getting in legal trouble through those words. "I think it's his chance to tell the world, 'I didn't intend to kill him,'" Brandt said. "If I was him, I think I would want to try and let people know that I'm not a monster."
Another attorney, Joe Tamburino, said: "I think the odds are that he will, but it will be very brief. He will probably if he decides to speak, he will say something like he is very sorry and he never meant to kill or harm Floyd."
Too late for Chauvin's remorse?
Mary Moriarty, Hennepin County's former chief public defender, said the fact that Chauvin did not express remorse in the sentencing memorandum submitted this month by his lawyer might be taken into account by Judge Peter Cahill, who will preside over the sentencing. "I think what Cahill would have been looking for from Chauvin or through his defense counsel is some responsibility for his actions or some empathy for George Floyd," she said.
Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and activist, branded Floyd's death "a modern-day lynching" and called for Chauvin to be sentenced "to the fullest extent of the law." She predicted that there would be community outrage if Chauvin is sentenced lightly.
When asked if she would like to hear Chauvin speak, Levy Armstrong said, "For me as a Black woman living in this community, there's really nothing that he could say that would alleviate the pain and trauma that he caused... I think that if he spoke it would be disingenuous and could cause more trauma."