Things That Matter

Derek Chauvin Is Sentenced For The Murder Of George Floyd In A Major Step Towards Justice

Update June 28, 2021

It was back in April when crowds outside the Minneapolis courtroom (and around the world) broke into a rallying cry of relief when former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty for the murder of George Floyd. Jurors overseeing his trial came to the decision which was greeted with chants of “justice” and “Black Lives Matter” which broke out on the streets.

Now, two months later, the Floyd family gets one more step towards justice with the sentencing of Derek Chauvin to 22 1/2 years behind bars. Although Chauvin is expected to appeal the verdict and sentence, Chauvin also faces federal charges related to George Floyd’s death.

Derek Chauvin is sentenced for the murder of George Floyd.

The former police officer who killed George Floyd on a Minneapolis street last year, was sentenced Friday to 22 and half years in prison. Under Minnesota law, Chauvin will have to serve two-thirds of his sentence, or 15 years — and he will be eligible for supervised release for the remaining seven and a half years.The sentence exceeds the Minnesota sentencing guideline range of 10 years and eight months to 15 years for the crime.

Judge Peter Cahill said the sentence was not based on emotion or public opinion. He wanted to “acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all of the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family,” the judge said.

In a 22 page memorandum, Cahill wrote that two aggravating factors warranted a harsher sentence — that Chauvin “abused his position of trust or authority” and treated Floyd with “particular cruelty.” Chauvin, the judge wrote, treated Floyd “without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings.”

Hours before the hearing began, Cahill denied a request from Chauvin’s attorney for a new trial. He also denied a request to hold a hearing on juror misconduct.

Floyd’s family has issued a statement about the recent sentencing.

George Floyd’s family spoke in court Friday of the pain they felt over his murder and asked for the maximum punishment for Chauvin as Chauvin faced sentencing for the crime that set off a fierce reckoning over racial injustice in America.

“We don’t want to see no more slaps on the wrist. We’ve been through that already,” said a tearful Terrence Floyd, one of Floyd’s brothers.

Floyd’s nephew Brandon Williams said: “Our family is forever broken.” And Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter, Gianna, in a video played in court, said that if she could say something to her father now, it would be: “I miss you and and I love you.”

Original Story published October 20, 2020:

A judge dropped the lesser third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill dropped third-degree murder charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was videotaped kneeling on Floyd’s neck while grinning as Floyd died. The judge upheld two other charges against Chauvin, included second-degree murder. If convicted on the second-degree murder charge, Chauvin faces a possible 55 years in prison.

“It was an inappropriate charge from the get-go, and it raised a lot of concerns for us as a community law firm about why that charge was brought,” Sarah Davis, executive director of the Legal Rights Center, told the Minneapolis StarTribune. “It really points to what the community has been saying all along about this prosecution, which is that it truly needs to be truly independent from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.”

Original: It’s been more than two months since the tragic death of George Floyd. Since his death, the country has been struggling on how to cope with yet another senseless loss of a Black man at the hands of police officers. Massive protests have taken place in nearly every corner of the country – or globe for that matter.

Yet, two months after his death we continue to learn new heartbreaking details about the circumstances of his last moments. Newly released body-cam footage, obtained by the Daily Mail show in greater detail the moments leading up to the now infamous video of Officer Chauvin’s knee pressed into George Floyd’s neck. In the leaked footage, we see officers approach a man who was no threat with their guns drawn. We see a panicked Floyd beg officers not to shoot him.

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