George Floyd: US court sentences Derek Chauvin to 22.5 years in prison

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The former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd last year.

The 45-year-old who was convicted by the US court will serve about 15 years behind bars.

Speaking about the sentence, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said in court that the sentence was not based on emotion or sympathy.

He said, “But at the same time, I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family.”

Cahill added that two aggravating factors were considered in the sentence. He stressed that Chauvin abused trust and authority and acted with particular cruelty toward Floyd.

Justifying the sentence, Cahill stated that Chauvin inflicted pain and psychological cruelty.

“Chauvin will be required to register as a predatory offender and provide a DNA sample,” Cahill’s said.

Floyd family members, attorneys and activists, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the sentence. They hoped that an ongoing federal indictment would put Chauvin away for life.

A nephew, Brandon Williams, said that 22.5 years was not enough.

“What kind of message are we sending to our country?” he asked.

The Rev. Al Sharpton said that it was not justice because “George Floyd is in a grave tonight even though Chauvin will be in jail.”

“Justice would have been George Floyd never having been killed. Justice would have been the maximum (sentence). We got more than we thought only because we’ve been disappointed before,” he added.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison described the sentencing “an important moment for our country.”

“The outcome of this case is critically important, but, by itself, it’s not enough,” he said.

“My hope for our country is that this moment gives us pause and allows us to rededicate ourselves to the real societal change that will move us much further along the road to justice.”

At the sentencing hearing, Chauvin offered his “condolences” to Floyd’s family but he never apologized for his actions. He said he was unable to speak further due to other ongoing litigation.

It will be recalled that a jury convicted Chauvin in April, 2020, of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd, 46.

Chauvin is also facing a federal indictment for violating George Floyd’s civil rights that could add prison time.

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