Chauvin’s Prosecutor Admits He 'Felt a Little Bad' for Him: He's 'a Human Being'
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison gives his thoughts
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he "felt a little bad" for Derek Chauvin upon the guilty verdict for killing George Floyd.
During an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes, when Ellison was asked by Scott Pelley what he first thought when he heard the words “guilty," he said:
“I will admit, I felt a little bad for the defendant."
"I think he deserved to be convicted. But he’s a human being,” he added.
“Somehow, I did not expect to hear from you a note of compassion for Derek Chauvin."
“I’m not in any way wavering from my responsibility,” Ellison replied.
“But I hope we never forget that people who are defendants in our criminal justice system, that they’re human beings. They’re people.”
Pelley next asked if the murder was “a hate crime?”
“I wouldn’t call it that because hate crimes are crimes where there’s an explicit motive and of bias,” Ellison responded.
“We don’t have any evidence that Derek Chauvin factored in George Floyd’s race as he did what he did.”
When asked what type of message a maximum sentence would send, Ellison replied:
“I think it is important for the Court to not go light or heavy.”
“I don’t know if it’s right for a judge to send a message through a sentence because the sentence should be tailored to the offense, tailored to the circumstances of the case."
"Look, the State never wanted revenge against Derek Chauvin. We just wanted accountability,” Ellison continued.
Ellison recalled his feelings when Rodney King jurors “acquitted those officers.”
“I remember how devastated,” he said.
“Whenever — an officer is charged with an offense, particularly when the victim is a person of color, it’s just rare that there’s any accountability.”
“And so, there was every moment of this case, I thought, ‘What are we missing? What haven’t we done?'” he concluded.
Last week, Chauvin was taken to maximum security prison and placed on suicide watch.
As the verdict was read out on Tuesday in the Hennepin County courtroom, Chauvin looked on with no visible emotion.
Jurors had spent three weeks listening to testimony about the day Floyd died during an arrest on May 25, 2020.
The court determined that Floyd was killed under the weight of 45-year-old Chauvin's knee on his neck.