Derek Chauvin Receives His Federal Sentence in the Death of George Floyd

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced Thursday to a little over 20 years in federal prison in a civil rights trial over the death of George Floyd. U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced Chauvin to 252 months in prison and subtracted seven months for time he has already served, CNN reported. Chauvin had pleaded guilty to the federal charges. Chauvin’s federal sentence will run concurrently with the 22.5-year sentence he was given last year after being convicted of murder for kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he stopped breathing in a May 2020 incident that caused widespread protests and riots across the nation. Chauvin has appealed his conviction. “I really don’t know why you did what you did, but to put your knee on another person’s neck until they expired is simply wrong, and for that conduct you must be substantially punished,” Magnuson said, according to The New York Times. “You absolutely destroyed the lives of three other young officers” who were also involved, Magnuson said, referring to former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao — all of whom were booted from the force and face state and federal charges for their passive roles in Floyd’s death. Chauvin addressed Floyd’s children in a brief statement. “I wish them all the best in their life and that they’ll have excellent guidance in the rest of their life,” he said. He also addressed the judge. “Your honor, I recognize the difficult and unpleasant job of this case — having to follow legal standards in a charged political environment must be very trying,” Chauvin said. Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, found Chauvin’s statement lacking. “I’m looking for closure, and I want to know why. That’s what I want to know — why?” he said after the hearing. “I wish he would have just probably said how sorry he was, but that’s not going to bring my brother back. No matter how hard I want him to say different things, it’s not going to bring my brother back,” he said. Some used the sentencing as a platform to slam the police. “This sentence should send a strong message that the Justice Department stands ready to prosecute law enforcement officers who use deadly force without basis,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said, according to CNN. Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, echoed that sentiment, ABC News reported. “While today’s federal sentence for George Floyd’s murderer is a step toward accountability, America’s policing crisis continues to crush and devastate black families,” Johnson said. “Holding police officers accountable is crucial. But meaningful justice, for the countless black people murdered by police, is desperately needed. Police should serve and protect, not lynch. We need to reform policing in America.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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