Derek Chauvin’s mother begged a Minnesota judge Friday to give the former cop a light sentence, and she defended her son as a “good man” despite his murder conviction in the death of George Floyd.
“Derek devoted 19 years of his life to the Minneapolis Police Department. 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,” mom Carolyn Pawlenty told Judge Peter Cahill on Friday afternoon in Hennepin County Court.
“I can tell you that is far from the truth, 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 that my son is a good man.”
The statement was read ahead of Cahill’s sentencing of Chauvin after the ex-cop was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25 last year.
Pawlenty said her son has “always dedicated his life and time to the police department” and would often call in on his days off to see if the force needed help.
“Derek is a quiet, thoughtful, honorable and selfless man, he has a big heart and he always has put others before his own,” said an emotional Pawlenty, who has never spoken publicly about her son’s case.
“The public will never know the loving and caring man that his family does.”
The mom said her proudest moment in life was giving birth to Chauvin and her second-proudest moment was pinning his badge on him the day he became a police officer.
“Derek, I want you to know I have always believed in your innocence and I will never waver from that,” Pawlenty said as her son, wearing a light blue surgical mask, showed little emotion.
“I have read numerous letters from people around the world that also believe in your innocence. No matter where you go or where you are, I will always be there to visit you, I promise you I will stay strong as we talked about and I want you to do the same for me.”
Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison for the crime.