“What the sentence is not based on is emotion, or sympathy, but at the same time, I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family,” said Judge Peter Cahill.
Chauvin told the court he offered his condolences to the Floyd family, saying there would be “some other information in the future” and he hoped “things will give you some peace of mind”.
However, he did not apologise.
In court, Chauvin’s mother said he was a “good man”.
“I have always believed in your innocence and I will never waver from that,” said Carolyn Pawlenty.
Chauvin’s sentence was “one of the longest a former police officer has ever received” for deadly force, said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
What happened to George Floyd?
He bought a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store in May 2020. A shop assistant believed he had used a counterfeit note and called police after Mr Floyd refused to give the cigarettes back.
When officers arrived, they ordered Mr Floyd out of his parked car and handcuffed him. A struggle ensued when officers tried to put a screaming Mr Floyd in their squad car. They wrestled him to the ground and pinned him under their weight.
Chauvin pressed his knee into the back of Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
As he was being restrained, Mr Floyd said more than 20 times that he could not breathe, pleading for his mother and begging “please, please, please”.
When the ambulance arrived, Mr Floyd was motionless. He was pronounced dead about an hour later.
His death was filmed by Darnella Frazier, now 18, who was out walking with her cousin when she saw his arrest.
She said she had begun recording the incident on her phone because “I saw a man terrified, begging for his life”.
Earlier this month, Ms Frazier was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in American journalism.