Derek Chauvin's mother begs judge for mercy at sentencing hearing

‘My son is a good man’: Derek Chauvin’s mother, 73, says she’ll ‘always be there for him’ as she begs judge for mercy at his sentencing hearing, pleading ‘you’ll be sentencing me too’

  • Carolyn Pawlenty spoke on behalf of the Chauvin family at her son’s hearing
  • She begged the judge not to give him a lengthy sentence, saying: ‘You’ll be sentencing me too’ 
  • She turned to her 45-year-old son, and said: ‘Remember, you’re my favorite son’
  • Pawlenty, 73, said he is ‘quiet, caring,  thoughtful, honorable and selfless’
  • Chauvin  was sentenced to 22 years in prison; he must serve at least 15 

Derek Chauvin’s mother begged the judge for mercy at his sentencing hearing on Friday, saying she’d be sentenced too and telling him he was her ‘favorite son’ whose innocence she never doubted.  

Carolyn Pawlenty, 73, was emotional as she spoke at the courthouse in Minneapolis, looking at her 45-year-old son and telling him: ‘My happiest moment was giving birth to you.’ 

Her full remarks are below.  I am the mother of Derek Chauvin. I am here to speak on behalf of my entire family.  

‘Not only did Derek’s life change forever but so did mine and my family’s. 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 believe Derek to be an aggressively, heartless and uncaring person. 

‘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. My son is a good man. 

Chauvin was sentenced to 22 years in prison; he must serve at least 15.  

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Carolyn Pawlenty, 73, was emotional as she spoke at the courthouse in Minneapolis, looking at her 45-year-old son and telling him: ‘My happiest moment was giving birth to you’

Chauvin appeared emotional as his mother addressed him but his expression remained stern, as it has throughout the hearing and trial 

‘Derek always dedicated his life and time to the police department. Even on his days off, he’d call in to see if they needed help. 

‘Derek is a quiet, thoughtful, honorable and selfless man. He has a big heart and has always put others before his own. 

‘The public will never know the loving and caring man he is. But his family does. 

‘Even though I have not spoken publicly, I have always supported him 100 percent and always will. Derek has played over and over in his head the events of that day.

‘I’ve seen the toll it has taken on him. I believe a lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well. When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me. 

‘I will not be able to see Derek, talk to him on the phone or give him our special hug. 

‘When he is released, his father and I most likely will not be here. 


Pawlenty, 73, addressed the judge then turned to her 45-year-old son and told him to ‘stay strong’ 

‘Derek,  my happiest moment is when I gave birth to you. My second is when I was honored to pin your police badge on you. I remember you whispering to me, don’t stick me with it. 

Chauvin faces up to 40 years behind bars for the killing of George Floyd last May 

‘I want you to know I have always believed in your innocence and I will never waiver from that. I have read numerous letters from people around the world that also believe in your innocence. 

‘No matter where you go, 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. 

‘I will do what you told me to do, take care of myself, so I will be here for you when you come home. Remember there is no stronger bond or love than a mother’s love. 

‘One final thought I want you to remember – remember you are my favorite son.’

‘Thank you for your time.’  

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