Chauvin’s sentence was “one of the longest a former police officer has ever received” for deadly force, said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
“I begged for justice for my brother, some kind of accountability,” Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, visibly unimpressed, said in a press conference after the sentence was passed. He had advocated for maximum sentence.
In perhaps what could have been labelled JUSTICE, reverberating a strong message of desist against the many Derek Chauvins who lurk on the streets and at our every turn waiting to snuff out life from the innocent, once again, the legal system plays safe in calling for a 100% accountability, choosing to embrace leniency instead.
It’s no news, America’s criminal justice system has never been on the side of the black community. Policies have forever not been favourable to the black community.
The sentence ushering in a bit of accountability? HELL YES!
A LIFE WAS LOST.
A SON WILL NEVER COME BACK.
A BROTHER WILL NEVER COME BACK.
A FATHER WILL NEVER GET THE CHANCE TO WALK HIS BABY GIRL DOWN THE AISLE…
This is a start, a foundation and yes, we recognise that, so we’ll take it!
Although maximum sentence was not handed out, this stamps a foundation for bringing racially inspired hate crimes to accountability, solidifying the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
A start towards safeguarding black lives and preventing a reoccurrence of such agonising tragedy in the perhaps near future.
Coming on the heels of ex white ex-police officer Derek Chauvin, 45, been convicted of second-degree murder among other charges last month following the murder of African-American, George Floyd, 48 in Minneapolis in May 2020, the 45 year old has been sentenced to 22 years and six months in jail.
Some of the Floyd family welcomed the sentencing;
“This historic sentence brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability,” lawyer Ben Crump tweeted.
According to BBC, the judge said Derek Chauvin’s sentence was based “on your abuse of a position of trust and authority, and also the particular cruelty shown” to Mr Floyd.
The judge said the case had been painful for the community and the country, but above all, for Mr Floyd’s family.
“What the sentence is not based on is emotion, or sympathy, but at the same time, I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family,” said Judge Peter Cahill.
In reaction to the sentence, United States President Joe Biden said the sentence “seemed to be appropriate” but admitted that he did not know all the details.
Recall on May 25, 2020,George Perry Floyd Jr. was an African American man murdered by a police officer during an arrest after a store clerk suspected he may have used a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis. Derek Chauvin, one of four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds in broad daylight.
While Derek Chauvin’s sentence may have gone down well with some family members who now get a bit of ease and closure, expressing optimism saying the verdict will usher in change, adding it “shows that matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously.” “We have a long way to go and many changes to make before Black and brown people finally feel like they are being treated fairly and humanely by law enforcement in this country,” Bridgett said in a statement released Friday. Others who had wanted maximum sentence, however tag it insufficient.
One of Floyd’s brothers, Rodney Floyd, called the sentence a “slap on the wrist.” “We’ve suffered a life sentence for not having him in our life, and that hurts me to death,” he said. “My family has already been given a life sentence. We’ll never get George back,” said Floyd’s brother.
Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter Gianna shared a prerecorded video message at the hearing.
When asked, “Do you wish he was still here with us?” she replied, “He is.”
When asked what she would say to her father if she could speak to him right now, Gianna said, “I miss you and I love him.”
George Floyd’s two brothers also emotionally laden statements before the sentence was announced.
Philonise Floyd had to wipe his eyes before addressing the court. He asked Judge Peter Cahill to give Chauvin the maximum sentence — 40 years — without the possibility for parole.
“My family and I have been given a life sentence. We will never be able to get George back,” he said. “Daddies are a daughter’s first love. He’ll never be able to walk Gianna down the aisle at her wedding, attend those magical moments of her life.”
Terrence Floyd, struggling to speak, said his family is now “part of a fraternity of families and it’s not one of those fraternities that you enjoy.” He asked Chauvin, “Why?”
“I wanted to know from the man himself, why?” he said. “What were you thinking? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck? When you knew that he posed no threat anymore? He was handcuffed, why you didn’t at least get up?”
George Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, called Chauvin’s actions “a malicious display of hate and abuse of power” at the hearing.
“Not only did he kill George, he also displayed a total lack of consideration for human life as he did so,” Williams said. “You saw it. I saw it. Millions of people across the country and the globe witnessed the agent of hate.”
Chauvin gave a brief statement before the sentence was handed down.
“I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family,” he said. “There’s going to be some other information in the future that will be of interest and I hope things would give you some peace of mind. Thank you.”