For the murder of African American George Floyd, former policeman Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison on Friday. Before Judge Peter Cahill handed down a lesser sentence than the 30 years the prosecution had sought, condolences to the Floyd family in a Minneapolis court was been given without apologizing by the 45-year-old Chauvin.
After watching a recorded message by Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter along with hearing from Chauvin’s mother, the decision was read out at the end of a tense hearing. The sentencing was termed as a historic step towards racial reconciliation in the United States by the Floyd family’s lawyer. Ben Crump tweeted that this is bringing the nation and the Floyd family a step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability.
Being convicted on three counts of murder and manslaughter two months ago, Chauvin who has been behind bars since then wore a light Gray suit as he learnt his fate following a trial that captivated the world.
On suspicion of having passed a fake $20 bill in a store in Minneapolis which is a northern city of around 420,000 population, Chauvin and three colleagues arrested the 46-year-old Floyd in May 2020 thereby pinning him to the ground in the street.
Indifferent to the dying man’s groans and the pleas of distraught passers-by, Chauvin knelt on the back of Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes. A young woman had filmed the entire scene and uploaded it which went viral.