Former police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in jail for the death of African American George Floyd on Friday, which prompted America’s largest racial justice rallies in decades.
In a Minneapolis courtroom, the white 45-year-old Chauvin expressed his “condolences” to the Floyd family before Judge Peter Cahill sentenced him to 22 years in prison.
“The sentence is not based on emotion or sympathy,” said Cahill during a tense hearing in which the court watched a recorded message by Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter and heard from Chauvin’s mother.
He went on to say that it wasn’t based on “public opinion,” but on the law and the facts of the case, as he noted the “deep and terrible grief” the case had caused, particularly for the Floyd family.
Their attorney described the punishment as a “historic” step toward racial healing in the United States.
“(It) brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability,” lawyer Ben Crump tweeted.
In the past 16 years, only 9 cops have gotten prison sentences for murder convictions. We pray Derek Chauvin will be sentenced to the FULL extent of the law today for murdering George Floyd. The whole world is watching! https://t.co/DTu01VNqKT
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) June 25, 2021