Former police officer, over to 22 years in jail for murdering George Floyd

Former police officer, over to 22 years in jail for murdering George Floyd

United States court on Friday sentenced Derek Chauvin, a former policeman , to 22 and a half years in jail for murdering George Floyd, whose death in May 2020 sparked the most important civil rights movement in American in decades and made fresh light on historical injustices round the world.

Chauvin, 45, will serve effectively just for 15 of these years; the remainder , counting on good behaviour, are going to be supervised release.

“I’m not basing my sentence on popular opinion . I’m not basing it on the plan to send any messages,” said judge Peter Cahill, explaining his order, which saw 22 pages. “The job of an attempt court judge is to use the law to specific facts and to affect individual cases.”

A jury had in April held Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis police , guilty on three counts of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder (unintentional murder caused by use of eminently dangerous act) and secondary manslaughter.

President Joe Biden called the sentence appropriate. “I don’t know all the circumstances that were considered but it seems to be under the rules , that appear to be appropriate,” he said. Biden had met Floyd’s family at the White House in May and discussed provision of a policing reforms legislation named after Floyd.

The sentencing came after emotional appeals and counter-appeals from Floyd’s family, including his seven-year-old daughter Gianna Floyd and Chauvin’s mother Carolyn Pawlenty, who professed complete faith in her son’s innocence.

Chauvin spoke for the primary time in court. “Due to some additional legal matters at hand, I’m unable to offer a full formal statement at this point ,” said Chauvin, pertaining to pending federal cases against him. “But, very briefly, i would like to offer my condolences to the Floyd family.”

Benjamin Crump, who is Floyd family attorney, welcomed the sentence. “This is that the longest sentence that a policeman has ever been sentenced to within the history of the state of Minnesota, But, this could not be the exception when a Black is killed by brutality by police. It should be the norm.”

Floyd’s death under Chauvin’s knee on May 25 last year triggered protests that had turned violent within the initial days with the National Guard being called call at various parts of the country, including in Washington DC, where then President Donald Trump had added to the unrest by seeking to draw political advantage.

Protests - under the slogan “Black Lives Matter” - spread quickly beyond the shores of the US and led to the toppling of the statue of a slave-trader in Bristol, UK; targeting of a 150-year-old statute of King Leopold II in Brussels, Belgium for brutalities in Congo; and protests in Australia against the subjugation of its indigenous people.

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