A white ex-police officer in the United States has been sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison for the murder of African-American man George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.
Derek Chauvin’s punishment was based on his “abuse of a position of trust and authority, as well as the particular cruelty demonstrated” to Mr. Floyd, according to the judge.
Mr. Floyd, 48, died after Chauvin knelt for nine minutes on his neck.
His assassination sparked worldwide protests against racism and police brutality.
Last month, Chauvin, 45, was found guilty of second-degree murder and additional offenses. His lawyer described the killing as “a mistake made in good faith” during his trial.
Chauvin was also told that he needed to register as a predatory offender and that he would be prohibited from owning weapons for the rest of his life.
Opinion on sentence hearing:
Mr. Floyd’s brother Terrence Floyd wanted the maximum penalty, a 40-year sentence, during the sentencing hearing.
“Why? What were you thinking at the time? What were you thinking when you put your knee on my brother’s neck?” he stated
Gianna Floyd, Mr. Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter, appeared in a video recording, saying she missed and loved him.
“I’m always asking about him,” she admitted. “When I was younger, my father would constantly assist me in brushing my teeth.”
The case had been terrible for the community and the country, but most of all for Mr. Floyd’s family, according to the judge.
“What the sentence is not predicated on is compassion or sympathy,” said Judge Peter Cahill, “but at the same time, I want to recognize the deep and great anguish that all of the families are experiencing, particularly the Floyd family.”
George Floyd, what happened to him?
In May 2020, he purchased a pack of cigarettes from a convenience store. After Mr. Floyd refused to return the smokes, a shop worker suspected he had used a counterfeit note and alerted the cops.
Officers approached Mr. Floyd and ordered him out of his parked car, handcuffing him. When officers tried to put a screaming Mr. Floyd in their squad car, they got into a fight. They pinned him under their weight after wrestling him to the ground.
For more than nine minutes, Chauvin pressed his knee into the back of Mr. Floyd’s neck.
Mr. Floyd said he couldn’t breathe more than 20 times while being restrained, imploring for his mother and begging “please, please, please.”
Mr. Floyd was motionless when the ambulance arrived. After about an hour, he was pronounced dead.