May 2 2021 U.S. Attorneys on Friday (April 30) asked the court to sentence Floyd to a higher sentence than the state’s legal guidelines for his alleged vulnerability at the time of the incident and Shawan’s abuse of police power to treat victims with particular cruelty.
According to NBC 2 news, the prosecution did not mention the recommended sentence, that Floyd was handcuffed, subdued on the ground, Shawan ignored Floyd 27 times said he could not breathe, even after knowing that the other side lost consciousness and pulse stopped jumping to maintain the kneeling action, with a particularly cruel hand broken Floyd, resulting in the last stage of his life psychological trauma.
Prosecutors also said that Shawan abused his position as a police officer to commit the crime as a group of three or more people and committed the crime in the presence of children, including a 9-year-old girl, who testified at the trial that watching the victim kneeling made her “sad and somewhat driven mad.”
Eric Nelson, a defense lawyer, disagreed with the prosecution, saying Floyd was not at a disadvantage, that he was a tall man and entangled with police officers, and that Shawan had not been particularly cruel to him, but had exercised his power to arrest a suspect who resisted arrest.
“Under Minnesota law, Shawan is authorized to use reasonable force to do so,” he said. In addition, he noted that the state had failed to prove that Shawan’s use of police powers was an aggravating factor in the sentence, and said Floyd confrontation with the police showed that Shawan’s authority did not influence Floyd.
The court had earlier found Shawan’s guilty of one count of second-degree unintentional murder, one count of third-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder, and under state law, the court would only sentence him to the most serious second-degree unintentional murder, compared with 12.5 years for a non-criminal like Shawan’s.
To impose a higher sentence, the judge will have to consider whether there are “aggravating factors” in the case, and some legal experts estimate that even if there are factors, Xiao Wan’s sentence will not exceed 30 years. Peter Cahill, the judge in charge of the case, said he would review the lawyer’s written arguments before determining whether there were aggravating factors.