Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years on Friday for the murder of George Floyd. The judge is quoted as basing his decision on “ Chauvin’s abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd,”.
The sentence comes after Chauvin was found Guilty in April of Second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes.
The Judge went on to say that “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. You have our sympathies,".
George Floyd ‘s sister Bridgett Floyd, who is also the founder of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, praised the judge's decision but said it is not enough. "The sentence handed down today to the Minneapolis police officer who killed my brother George Floyd shows that matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously," she said. "However, 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."
The American criminal justice system was not built to deliver justice to a people it was founded on oppressing, and so Chauvin’s sentence is a small but significant step in the right direction.
What are your thoughts on this sentencing? Do you feel Chauvin should be facing a longer sentence? Comment down below.
Written by Akeima Young & Precious Onukwuli