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Derek Chauvin’s mother calls her son ‘honorable and selfless’ at sentencing

Derek Chauvin's mother Carolyn Pawlenty
Carolyn Pawlenty, the mother of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, speaks to the court during his sentencing hearing in Minneapolis on Friday.
(Associated Press)

The mother of the former Minneapolis Police Officer being sentenced Friday in George Floyd’s death told the judge that her son is a “quiet, thoughtful, honorable and selfless man” who should not receive a lengthy sentence.

Carolyn Pawlenty made the statement in court before her son, Derek Chauvin, heard his sentence on a second-degree murder charge. She didn’t mention Floyd by name.

“Derek has played over and over in his head the events of that day,” Pawlenty said. “I’ve seen the toll it has taken on him. I believe a lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well. When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me. I will not be able to see Derek, talk to him on the phone or give him our special hug.”

She told Judge Peter Cahill that Chauvin “has a big heart.”

“My son’s identity has also been reduced to that as a racist,” she said. " I want this court to know that none of these things are true and that my son is a good man.”

People outside the courthouse shook their heads and gasped in exasperation as Chauvin’s mother spoke. They broke into chants of “No justice, no peace!” as she concluded her statement.

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George Floyd died in police custody on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. His death led to the trial and conviction of former officer Derek Chauvin.


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