Derek Chauvin gets emotional when mom Carolyn Pawlenty calls him her 'favorite son'
Speaking at the sentencing, Carolyn Pawlenty said, 'Derek, I want you to know, I have always believed in your innocence, and I will never waiver from that'
Rarely have people seen former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin show his emotions ever since he got arrested for the murder of George Floyd last year - not even during his trial. However, when his mother spoke at Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis for his sentencing on Friday, June 25, there was a rare hint of emotion from the ex-cop.
Carolyn Pawlenty said she was speaking on behalf of her entire family as she expressed her love and admiration for her son. She also added that she had never once questioned his innocence. “Derek devoted 19 years to the Minneapolis Police Department,” Pawlenty started off, adding, “It has been difficult for me to hear and read what the media, public, and prosecution team believe Derek to be an aggressive, heartless, and uncaring person. I can tell you that is far from the truth."
She continued: "My son’s identity has also been reduced to that of a racist. I want this court to know that none of these things are true, and my son is a good man. Derek always dedicated his life and time to the police department, even on his days off, he would call in to see if they needed help."
Chauvin gets emotional
Derek Chauvin's mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, spoke publicly for the first time Friday in defense of her son.— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) June 25, 2021
"My son is a good man" pic.twitter.com/Mn4TyM9YOM
During the emotional plea from Pawlenty, when the camera briefly panned to capture Chauvin, he was seen putting his head slightly down and closing his eyes. Other than that, Chauvin was notably stoic throughout the trial, choosing not to show any emotion. In fact, 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 have been taken into account by Judge Peter Cahill, who presided 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. Chauvin was ultimately sentenced to 22.5 years behind bars.
'Honorable and selfless man'
Pawlenty sang praises of her son, even after he was convicted for murder and was being sentenced. “Derek is a quiet, thoughtful, honorable, and selfless man; he has a big heart and he has always put others before his own. The public will never know what a loving caring man he is... that his family does," she said. Pawlenty added, “I have always supported him 100%, and always will."
"When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me,” the mother told Judge Peter Cahill. “I will not be able to see Derek, talk to him on the phone, or give him our special hug. Plus, the fact that when he is released, his father and I, most likely, will not be here.” She recalled that her “happiest moment” was when she gave birth to her son, and her second happiest was when she was able to pin a police badge on Chauvin. “Derek, I want you to know, I have always believed in your innocence, and I will never waiver from that. I have read numerous letters from people around the world that also believe in your innocence. I promise you I will stay strong — as we talked about — and I want you to do the same for me," she said. “Remember, there is no stronger bond of love than a mother’s love. Remember you are my favorite son.”