On Friday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison. He was convicted of killing an African-American man George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020 which led to a massive global movement against racism. His conviction was announced in April 2021.
“I’m not basing my sentence on public opinion. I’m not basing it on the attempt to send any messages. The job of a trial court judge is to apply the law to specific facts and to deal with individual cases,” said Judge Peter Cahill.
45-year-old Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He had pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck for over 9 1/2 minutes. The 46-year-old African American kept begging to stop as he was not able to breathe.
Chauvin has also been told to register as a predatory offender and barred from owning firearms for life. Three other police officers are also charged with violating Floyd’s civil rights.
Why Was George Floyd Arrested?
In May 2020, George Floyd bought a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store. An assistant at the shop believed that Floyd had used a counterfeit note and informed police about the same. The police arrived, ordered him to come out of the car, handcuffed him, and knelt on his neck for more than 9 minutes.
The sentence fell short of the 30 years which was requested by the prosecutors. But his sentence was 10 years more than the state’s guidelines. Judge Cahill justified this longer sentence following the aggravating factors.
However, Chauvin can be paroled after serving two-thirds of his sentence or after 15 years, if he’ll show good behaviour.
“But very briefly, though, I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family. There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest. And I hope things will give you some peace of mind,” Derek Chauvin broke his silence and paid condolences to the Floyd family.
George Floyd Not The Only Target of Racism and Police Brutality
- February 26, 2012 – Trayvon Martin in Stanford, California
- June 17, 2014 – Eric Garner in New York
- August 9, 2014 – Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri
- November 22, 2014 – Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio
- April 4, 2015 – Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina
- July 5, 2016 – Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- July 6, 2016 – Philando Castile in Saint Paul, Minnesota
- March 18, 2018 – Stephon Clark in Sacramento, California
- February 23, 2020 – Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia
- March 13, 2020 – Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter is a movement that was founded in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman who fatally shot a 17-year old African American Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy.