For George Floyd’s murder, Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22.5 years in prison

Published on Jun 27, 2021 06:22 AM IST

Judge Peter Cahill went beyond the 12-and-a-half-year sentence prescribed under state guidelines, citing Chauvin’s “abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty” shown to Floyd.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin reacts as he listens to the judge announce his sentence of 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd during his sentencing hearing in Minneapolis. (via Reuters)
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin reacts as he listens to the judge announce his sentence of 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd during his sentencing hearing in Minneapolis. (via Reuters)
ByYashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington

A US court on Friday sentenced former police officer Derek Chauvin to 22 and a half years in jail for the murder of African-American George Floyd, whose death last year led to the biggest outcry against racial injustice in the US in generations.

Judge Peter Cahill went beyond the 12-and-a-half-year sentence prescribed under state guidelines, citing Chauvin’s “abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty” shown to Floyd.

“This (jail term) is based on your abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd,” Cahill told Chauvin.

The punishment - which came after Chauvin broke his yearlong silence to offer condolences to the Floyd family and express hope that they eventually have “some peace of mind” - is one of the longest prison terms ever imposed on a US police officer in the killing of a Black person.

Still, Floyd family members and others were disappointed. The sentence fell short of the 30 years prosecutors had requested. And with good behaviour, Chauvin, 45, could get out on parole after serving two-thirds of his sentence, or about 15 years.

Floyd’s brother Rodney called the sentence a slap on the wrist, saying the family has “suffered a life sentence for not having him in our life, and that hurts me to death”.

Outside the courthouse, a crowd of about 50 people clasped hands or placed them on each other’s shoulders. The reaction was subdued as people debated whether the sentence was long enough.

At George Floyd Square, as the intersection where Floyd was pinned to the pavement is now known, members of the crowd broke into applause, and several said, “We’ll take it.”

The fired white officer was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for up to 9 and a half minutes as the 46-year-old Black man gasped that he couldn’t breathe and went limp on May 25, 2020.

President Joe Biden called the sentence appropriate. “I don’t know all the circumstances that were considered but it seems to be under the guidelines, that seem to be appropriate,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

Get Latest World Newsalong with Latest Newsfrom Indiaat Hindustan Times.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals