Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second and third degree murder and manslaughter in April in a case that made headlines and sparked protests.
Video showed the white policeman had his knee on Mr. Floyd, a black man, for more than nine minutes during his arrest on May 25, 2020.
Monsieur Floyd was being arrested on suspicion of using a fake $ 20 bill, but he was handcuffed, tied up, and repeatedly yelled “I can’t breathe” before he died.
Speaking after the conviction, Mr Floyd’s girlfriend Courteney Ross told Sky News: “I’m shocked it’s not a longer sentence, but it’s a start.
“I want us to continue this fight and not give up.
“It’s a bit disappointing. “
She said she had lived the last year “paralyzed with grief”, adding: “It has been difficult for me to live from day to day”.
“I know people are angry – I hear it and I understand. But Floyd isn’t talking about violence… he wants everyone to keep fighting the right way. “
When asked if the phrase made her feel closed, she replied, “It doesn’t. I think it’s more for a greater good. To our personal grief, it doesn’t stop. “
Previously, Judge Peter Cahill had exceeded the 12.5-year sentence prescribed by state directives, citing “Chauvin’s abuse of position of trust and authority as well as the particular cruelty” shown to Mr. Floyd. .
He said the conviction was not based on “emotion or sympathy” or “public opinion … or an attempt to send messages”.
But he added, “At the same time, I want to recognize the deep and enormous pain that all families feel, especially the Floyd family. You have our sympathies. “
The case revitalized the Black lives matter movement, with protests across the United States and in other countries against racial inequalities and police brutality.
Fewer than a dozen police officers have been convicted of murder while on duty in the United States in the past 15 years, and Chauvin is the first white Minnesota police officer to be convicted of murdering a black man.
The three other officers who met Mr. Floyd that day are to be tried in August.
They and Chauvin also face federal charges for depriving Mr. Floyd of his civil rights and a conviction results in a possible death sentence.
It is for this reason that, when Chauvin briefly addressed the court after more than a year of silence, he said little about what had happened to Mr. Floyd and his role in it.
He offered his condolences to the Floyd family and said he hoped more information would eventually give them “some peace of mind.”
Previous members of both families had spoken to the judge about their experiences and what they believed was an appropriate sentence for the former police officer.
Terrence Floyd, one of Mr. Floyd’s brothers, said, “We don’t want to see slaps on the wrists anymore. We have already experienced this. “
Mr. Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, said: “Our family is broken forever. “
Chauvin’s mother Carolyn Pawlenty said her son’s reputation had been unfairly reduced to that of “an aggressive, heartless and indifferent person” and racist.
“I can tell you that is far from the truth,” she told the judge.
“I want this court to know that none of these things are true and that my son is a good man.
“Derek, I want you to know that I have always believed in your innocence, and I will never deviate from it.”
US President Joe Biden was asked to comment on the sentence and said it “seemed to be appropriate” but that he did not have all the details.