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George Floyd murder: Former cop Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison

Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison for the murder of George Floyd, whose dying gasps under Chauvin’s knee led to the biggest outcry against racial injustice in the US in generations.

George Floyd murder: Former cop Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison-dnm
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Bengaluru, First Published Jun 26, 2021, 10:08 AM IST
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A US court on Friday sentenced Derek Chauvin, a former police officer, to 22 and a half years in jail for murdering George Floyd, whose death in May 2020 sparked the largest civil rights movement in American in decades and forced fresh light on historical injustices around the world.

The judge said Derek Chauvin's sentence was based "on your abuse of a position of trust and authority, and also the particular cruelty shown" to Mr Floyd.

The punishment handed out Friday fell short of the 30 years that prosecutors had requested.

With good behaviour, Chauvin, 45, could be paroled after serving two-thirds of his sentence, or about 15 years.

“I’m not basing my sentence on public opinion. I’m not basing it on the attempt to send any messages,” said judge Peter Cahill, explaining his order, which ran into 22 pages. “The job of a trial court judge is to apply the law to specific facts and to deal with individual cases.”

Former police Officer Derek Chauvin broke his long courtroom silence Friday as he faced sentencing for the murder of George Floyd, offering condolences to Floyd’s family and saying he hopes more information coming out will give them “some peace of mind.”

A jury found Chauvin, who is white, guilty on April 20 of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd, a Black man. The verdict was widely seen as a landmark rebuke of the disproportionate use of police force against Black Americans.

Chauvin's sentence was one of the longest given a former police officer for using unlawful deadly force in the United States, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office prosecuted the case, told reporters. Successful prosecutions of police officers in such cases have been rare.

The Floyd family and their supporters welcomed the sentence.

"This historic sentence brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability," lawyer Ben Crump tweeted.

Floyd's sister Bridgett Floyd said the sentence "shows that matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously" but there was still "a long way to go".

President Joe Biden said the sentence "seemed to be appropriate" but admitted that he did not know all the details.

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