Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police Officer who murdered George Floyd on May 25, 2020, was sentenced Friday to 22.5 years in prison for his murder. The verdict came out more than a year after Floyd’s death that led to the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement.

Judge Peter Cahill of Hennepin County handed down the sentence of 270 months for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The verdict is shorter than prosecutors’ initial request of 30 years behind bars. Chauvin also received 199 days of credit for the time he already served in prison.

“What the sentence is not based on is emotion or sympathy,” Cahill said. “But at the same time, I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family.”

“I’m not going to attempt to be profound or clever because it’s not the appropriate time. I’m not basing my sentence on public opinion. I’m not basing it on any attempt to send any messages,” Cahill added.


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Following the sentencing, many who waited for Chauvin’s verdict cheered yet grieved over late George Floyd.

Rev. Al Sharpton, though acknowledging that the Friday sentencing is meaningful that it marks the longest jail time for the police brutality, said he still believes that the verdict should have been longer than 22.5 years.

“Because George Floyd is in a grave tonight, even though Chauvin will be in jail,” Sharpton said in a press conference after the verdict. “So let us not feel that we’re here to celebrate because justice would have been George Floyd never having been killed.”

“Justice would have been the maximum. We got more than we thought only because we had been disappointed so many times before. Twenty-two and a half years is longer than we’ve ever gotten but shorter than what we should have gotten,” Sharpton added.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, representing Floyd’s family, released the statement, saying that the sentence was a “significant step forward.”

“While this shouldn’t be exceptional, tragically, it is. Day after day, year after year, police kill Black people without consequence,” Crump said in his statement. “But today, with Chauvin’s sentence, we take a significant step forward — something that was unimaginable a very short time ago.”

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