George Floyd murder: Derek Chauvin was in prison 22 years

A white ex-police officer in the United States has been sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison for the murder of  George Floyd murder in Minneapolis in May 2020.

Derek Chauvin’s punishment was based on his “abuse of a position of trust and authority, as well as the particular cruelty demonstrated” to Mr Floyd, according to the judge.

Mr Floyd, 48, died after Chauvin knelt for nine minutes on his neck.

His assassination sparked worldwide protests against racism and police brutality.

Last month, Chauvin, 45, was found guilty of second-degree murder and additional offenses. His lawyer described the killing as “a mistake made in good faith” during his trial.

Chauvin was also told that he needed to register as a predatory offender and that he would be prohibited from owning weapons for the rest of his life.

Separately, he and three other former officers are accused of infringing on George Floyd’s civil rights.

The punishment was well received by the Floyd family and their supporters. “By giving finality and responsibility, this historic sentencing takes the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing,” lawyer Ben Crump said.

Bridgett Floyd, Mr Floyd’s sister, said the punishment “shows that police violence is finally being taken seriously,” but that there was still “a long way to go.” President Joe Biden stated that the punishment “seemed right,” but admitting that he was unaware of all the specifics.

During the sentencing hearing, what was said?

Mr Floyd’s brother Terrence Floyd wanted the maximum penalty, a 40-year sentence, during the sentencing hearing.

“Why? What were you thinking at the time? What were you thinking when you put your knee on my brother’s neck?” he stated Gianna Floyd, Mr Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter, appeared in a video recording, saying she missed and loved him.

“I’m always asking about him,” she admitted. “When I was younger, my father would constantly assist me in brushing my teeth.”

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The case had been terrible for the community and the country, but most of all for Mr Floyd’s family, according to the judge. “What the sentence is not predicated on is compassion or sympathy,” said Judge Peter Cahill, “but at the same time, I want to recognise the deep and great anguish that all of the families are experiencing, particularly the Floyd family.”

Derek Chauvin expressed his sympathies to the Floyd family in court, adding that “further information would be forthcoming” and that he hoped “things will give you some peace of mind.”

He did not, however, apologize.

Chauvin’s mother testified in court that he was a “nice man.”

Carolyn Pawlenty stated, “I have always believed in your innocence and I will never waver from that belief.” According to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Chauvin’s sentence was “one of the longest a former police officer has ever received” for fatal force.

George Floyd, what happened to him?

In May 2020, he purchased a pack of cigarettes from a convenience store. After Mr Floyd refused to return the smokes, a shop worker suspected he had used a counterfeit note and alerted the cops.

Officers approached Mr Floyd and ordered him out of his parked car, handcuffing him. When officers tried to put a screaming Mr Floyd in their squad car, they got into a fight. They pinned him under their weight after wrestling him to the ground.

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For more than nine minutes, Chauvin pressed his knee into the back of Mr Floyd’s neck. Mr Floyd said he couldn’t breathe more than 20 times while being restrained, imploring for his mother and begging “please, please, please.”

Mr Floyd was motionless when the ambulance arrived. After about an hour, he was pronounced dead.

Darnella Frazier, now 18, was out walking with her cousin when she saw his arrest and decided to record it. “I saw a man afraid, begging for his life,” she added, adding that she began recording the incident on her phone.

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Ms Frazier received a special Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in American journalism, earlier this month.

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