On Friday (June 25), former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin learned exactly how long he will be imprisoned for the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.
Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 270 months – 22 and a half years – for the murder of George Floyd, with 199 days credit for time already served. Even though Chauvin was found guilty of three counts, under Minnesota law, he could only be sentenced on the most serious crime — second-degree murder.
“I ask about him all the time,” Gianna Floyd said of her father during her victim impact statement. “I miss him and I love him.”
The seven-year-old was the first of four family members to speak during Chauvin’s sentencing. When asked what she would do if she ever saw her dad again, she replied, “I want to play with him.”
Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, asked that the maximum penalty be imposed.
“What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?” Terrence Floyd asked Chauvin. Like Williams, he asked that his brother’s murderer receive the maximum sentence.
Philonise Floyd says nightmares of his older brother begging for his life haunt him to this day.
“George’s life mattered.” Philonise said. “My family and I have been given a life sentence, we will never be able to get George back.”
Hours before Chauvin was sentenced, Judge Peter Cahill denied the defense’s motion for a new trial and opted against a hearing regarding allegations of jury misconduct. Previously, the defense had asked for probation and sought a retrial ahead of an expected appeal. Chauvin’s lawyer has argued that his client was deprived of a fair trial because of prosecutorial and jury irregularities.
He faced up to 30 years in prison for the second-degree murder conviction, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter and/or a $20,000 fine. A ruling last month acknowledged aggravating factors at play when Floyd was murdered, which made additional time a possibility for the disgraced officer.
It has been a long – and highly publicized – road to justice for friends and family of Floyd. His killing, which led to global protests concerning race, social equality and the deadly use of force, may have likely gone uncontested had it not been for cellphone footage that captured his fatal encounter with police.
“This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes,” prosecuting attorney Steve Schleicher said. “This wasn’t policing. This was murder.”
Chauvin’s trial began March 8, 2021. The trial was significant in that it was the first time a Minnesota judge approved the filming of a full criminal trial. The jury consisted of six white people and six people of color, who unanimously found him guilty on three counts: unintentional second-degree murder; third-degree murder; and second-degree manslaughter.
Another landmark courtroom moment: Chauvin became the first white Minnesotan police officer to be convicted of murdering a black person.
Following his April 2021 conviction, Judge Cahill agreed to accept a prosecution motion to revoke Chauvin’s bail and Chauvin was taken back into police custody. Three other officers – Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao – have pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding and abetting. Their trial is set for March 2022.
A former warden at a California prison told the Law & Crime website that it won’t be easy to keep Chauvin safe after he’s sentenced.
“One could argue that Derek Chauvin is America’s most hated person,” Cameron Lindsay said. “So therefore, the Minnesota Department of Corrections will have a challenge in terms of ensuring his safety and security.”
The crime, coverage and fallout surrounding Floyd’s killing has made a lifelong impact on all parties involved.
On June 11, Darnella Frazier, the Minnesota teen who stopped to record the final moments of George Floyd’s life, was awarded an honorary Pulitzer Prize. The video aided a global activist movement denouncing police brutality and systemic racism, and was critical evidence in Chauvin’s trial.
Frazier was given a “special citation” by the committee, who in the announcement cited the footage as an example of “the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quests for truth and justice.”
Frazier was 17 years old when she recorded Chauvin and other officers restraining Floyd on the ground. The clip helped change the narrative surrounding police misconduct, and videos stemming from the incident were viewed more than 1.2 billion times in the 12 days following Floyd’s death. On the one year anniversary of the murder, Frazier said the events she witnessed that day have forever changed the way she views the world.
“This is my truth.” She captioned the post. “[One] year anniversary. Rest in peace to George Floyd.”
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Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks Who We've Lost In 2021
1. Glen Ford, veteran journalist and Black Agenda Report founder, 71Source:LinkedIn 1 of 64
2. Gloria Richardson, civil rights pioneer, 99Source:Getty 2 of 64
3. Biz Markie, hip-hop legend, 57Source:Getty 3 of 64
4. Charlie Robinson, actor, 75Source:Getty 4 of 64
5. Matima "Swavy" Miller, social media star, 19Source:GoFundMe 5 of 64
6. Suzzanne Douglas, actress, 64Source:Getty 6 of 64
7. Abdalelah Haroun, track and field star, 24Source:Getty 7 of 64
8. Consuewella Dotson Africa, MOVE leader, 67
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Heartbroken to learn that Consuewella Africa passed away today. She was arrested on Aug 8, 1978 w/ the MOVE 9 + spent 16 yrs in prison. May 13th, 1985, her daughters Netta and Tree were murdered. 2 mos ago, we learned Penn Museum held hostage Tree's remains. And now she is gone pic.twitter.com/nZSW7Yu2yE— Krystal Strong (@misskstrong) June 16, 2021
9. Martha White, civil rights activist, 99Source:Twitter 9 of 64
10. Sanyika Shakur ("Monster" Kody Scott), street gang leader-turned-motivational speaker, 5710 of 64
11. Clarence Williams III, actor, 81Source:Getty 11 of 64
12. Samuel Wright, actor, 74Source:Getty 12 of 64
13. Chi Modu, photographer, 54Source:Getty 13 of 64
14. Paul Mooney, comedian, writer, 79Source:Getty 14 of 64
15. Lee Evans, Olympic champion, 74Source:Getty 15 of 64
16. Frank McRae, actor and former NFL player, 80Source:Getty 16 of 64
17. Eugene Webb, NYC real estate broker, 102Source:Getty 17 of 64
18. Pervis Staples, singer, 85Source:Getty 18 of 64
19. Curtis Fuller, legendary jazz trombonist, 88Source:Getty 19 of 64
20. Henrietta Turnquest, pioneering Black woman politician, 73
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MARTA is saddened by the passing of Henrietta Turnquest, who was appointed to the MARTA Board in 2003, the first African American woman to be appointed and serve on the MARTA Board of Directors. https://t.co/nTGaNeRfIk pic.twitter.com/CFdMRiFT9h— MARTA (@MARTAservice) May 4, 2021
21. Shock G, rapper-producer, 57Source:Getty 21 of 64
22. Antron Pippen, 33
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23. Black Rob, rapper, 51Source:Getty 23 of 64
24. Gerren Taylor, model, 30Source:WENN 24 of 64
25. DMX, rapper, actor, 50Source:Getty 25 of 64
26. Midwin Charles, attorney, 47Source:Getty 26 of 64
27. Alcee Hastings, congressman, 84Source:Getty 27 of 64
28. Alvin Sykes, civil rights activist, 64Source:Kansas City Public Library 28 of 64
29. Sarah Obama, paternal step-grandmother of Barack Obama, 99Source:Getty 29 of 64
30. Craig "muMs" Grant, poet-actorSource:Getty 30 of 64
31. Elgin Baylor, NBA legend, 86Source:Getty 31 of 64
32. Yaphet Kotto, actor, 8132 of 64
33. Reggie Warren, singer, 52Source:Getty 33 of 64
34. Jo Thompson, muscian-singer, 92
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Jo Thompson broke racial barriers during the decades she played the piano and sang to audiences from Detroit’s top supper clubs to ones in Cuba, New York, London and Paris during the 1950s. https://t.co/9GGN8Njdx4— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) March 11, 2021
35. Paul H. Brock, journalist, 89
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Today we are mourning the passing of @NABJ Founding Executive Director Paul H. Brock. “Founder Brock played such an integral role in the success of NABJ,” said @Dorothy4NABJ. Read more about Founder Brock and his legacy by clicking here: https://t.co/NFYmKLa9nc pic.twitter.com/BxluBXKPGy— NABJ Headquarters @ #NABJ21 Aug. 18-21 (@NABJ) March 14, 2021
36. "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler, boxing legend, 66Source:Getty 36 of 64
37. Robert Ashby, military hero, 95Source:Getty 37 of 64
38. Obe Noir, rapper-activist, 31Source:Instagram 38 of 64
39. Marshall Latimore, journalist, 36Source:The Atlanta Voice 39 of 64
40. Lawrence Otis Graham, author, 59Source:Getty 40 of 64
41. Jahmil French, actor, 28Source:Getty 41 of 64
42. Bunny Wailer, reggae icon, 73Source:Getty 42 of 64
43. Irv Cross, legendary broadcaster, 81Source:Getty 43 of 64
44. Shelia Washington, founder, Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center, 61Source:William H. Hampton 44 of 64
45. Antoine Hodge, opera singer, 38Source:GoFundMe 45 of 64
46. Douglas Turner Ward, actor, Negro Ensemble Company co-founder, 90Source:WENN 46 of 64
47. Prince Markie Dee, rapper, 52Source:Getty 47 of 64
48. Vincent Jackson, former NFL star, 38Source:Getty 48 of 64
49. Danny Ray, MC who put cape on James Brown, 85Source:Getty 49 of 64
50. Frederick K.C. Price, evangelist, 89
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"They know if we ever let these Black people get equality that they will take over they will be on top of everything" - Frederick K. C. Price pic.twitter.com/NYI11QgTEz— The Black Detour (@theblackdetour) February 12, 2021
51. Terez Paylor, sports journalist, 37Source:facebook 51 of 64
52. Mary Wilson, co-founder of The Supremes, 76Source:Getty 52 of 64
53. Karen Lewis, former Chicago Teachers Union president, 67Source:Getty 53 of 64
54. Leon Spinks, former heavyweight champion, 67Source:Getty 54 of 64
55. Dianne Durham, gymnast, 52Source:Getty 55 of 64
56. John Chaney, college basketball coaching legend, 89Source:Getty 56 of 64
57. Cicely Tyson, actresss, 96Source:Getty 57 of 64
58. Hank Aaron, MLB icon, 86Source:Getty 58 of 64
59. Duranice Pace, gospel singer, 62Source:Getty 59 of 64
60. Tim Lester, NFL star, 52Source:Getty 60 of 64
61. Bryan Monroe, former NABJ president, 55Source:Getty 61 of 64
62. Meredith C. Anding Jr., civil rights icon, 79
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We are saddened to hear of the passing of Meredith Anding Jr., one of the Tougaloo College students who attempted to integrate the Jackson Municipal Library in 1961. Thank you for taking a stand for Freedom! Our thoughts and prayers are with the Anding family. pic.twitter.com/HC1tURbUd2— Medgar&MyrlieEversInstitute (@MMEI63) January 12, 2021