Prosecutors have asked for a 30-year prison sentence for the murderer of George Floyd.
Former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for the killing in April and is due to be sentenced on 25 June.
On Wednesday the prosecution said the killing had “shocked the conscience of the Nation” and demanded a long sentence.
But the defence described the killing as “an error made in good faith” based on Derek Chauvin’s training.
Judge Peter Cahill had already ruled that there were aggravating factors in George Floyd’s murder – including the length of time Chauvin knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck. This allows the court to impose a sentence longer than the 15-year maximum recommended by the state.
Prosecutors demand a 30-year term for Chauvin, saying it would “properly account for the profound impact of Defendant’s conduct on the victim, the victim’s family, and the community.”
Any sentence “must show that no one is above the law, and no one is below it”, the prosecution said.
But Chauvin’s defence lawyer Eric Nelson filed a motion in the court on Wednesday asking for a “downward durational departure” – a sentence shorter than what court guidelines suggest – and said he should get probation and credit for time already served.
“Mr Chauvin’s offence is best described as an error made in good faith… not intentional commission of an illegal act,” his lawyer said, arguing that his client “was unaware that he was even committing a crime” and thought he was “simply performing his lawful duty”.
“Mr Chauvin asks the Court to look beyond its findings, to his background, his lack of criminal history, his amenability to probation, to the unusual facts of this case, and to his being a product of a ‘broken’ system,” Mr Nelson said.
George Floyd’s murder caused global outrage and a wave of demonstrations against racism and the police’s use of force.
Chauvin and three other former officers are separately charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights.