Following the news of Derek Chauvin's sentencing, George Floyd's family have finally responded.
Breaking News: Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd, in a case that set off the largest civil rights movement in the U.S. in decades. https://t.co/MDvdU9yzyR pic.twitter.com/vB0y7D9fQn— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 25, 2021
His most serious conviction is second-degree murder, which carries a maximum prison sentence of forty years in Minnesota. The other charges include third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, which carry maximum penalties of twenty-five years and 10 years in prison.
He's remained in police custody until now, after finally being sentenced.
Back in April, the jury came to a unanimous decision.
Yesterday's sentencing came as a result of events that occurred on May 25th, 2020 when Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes while detaining him face-first against the pavement. This violence was caused by Floyd using a counterfeit $20 bill.
Floyd had pleaded for air and told officers that he couldn't breathe twenty-seven times as 3 officers held him down until he lost consciousness and didn't have a pulse. They eventually removed themselves minutes later once paramedics arrived and lifted Floyd's lifeless body onto a stretcher.
Speaking after the sentencing, Floyd's family voiced their opinions.
George's cousin, Brandon Williams, said:
We got justice, but not enough justice.
Twenty-two years is not enough. Gianna can't hug George again. We can't get George back. So in retrospect, I think he should have received a life sentence as well.
I won't celebrate this. I won't celebrate it at all. But I will celebrate a guilty conviction of a police officer that killed a Black man. This 22 and a half years just doesn't work for me.
George's brother, Rodney, added:
It's a slap on the wrist. We're serving a life sentence by not having him in our life." For Gianna, that will mean no time ahead with her dad, no shared conversations between father and daughter, "those wonderful phone calls lighting up her face.
Rodney said in the courtroom:
The murder of George Floyd has forever traumatized us. You may see us cry, but the full extent of our pain and trauma will never be seen by the naked eye. The heartbreak goes far beyond any number of tears we could ever cry.
We simply cannot express the pain and anguish our family and friends have endured since George's murder. It has been truly unimaginable, but not as nearly unimaginable as the defendant's decision to take the life of a human being with no regard for the effect it may have on others.
Rest in Peace, George Floyd. We hope this can bring some kind of justice to Floyd's family and those who have been affected by police brutality.