First modification: 06/25/2021 – 22:41
Derek Chauvin, removed from his position as a policeman after having participated in the murder of George Floyd, was sentenced this June 25 by a judge to 22 years and five months in prison. Chauvin, 45, had been convicted of second degree manslaughter, third degree murder and second degree murder. Floyd’s family was asking for the maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.
A little over a year after the death of African American George Floyd, his attacker, former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, was sentenced to 22 years and five months in prison on Friday.
The verdict is known after Chauvin was found guilty last April of all the charges against him: second degree involuntary manslaughter, third degree murder and second degree murder, after a trial that was seen as decisive in the history of the country, marred by police abuses and attacks with racial overtones.
Prosecutors had called for a 30-year prison sentence, twice the upper limit indicated in the sentencing guidelines for a person breaking the law for the first time.
Floyd’s family was seeking the maximum sentence of 40 years in jail and the defense had requested parole.
Before reading his ruling, Hennepin County, Minnesota District Judge Peter Cahill explained that he bases his decision on the facts and not on any outside influence.
Likewise, the magistrate indicated that he agreed with the jury and the prosecuting party that four aggravating factors were committed in this case. He noted that Chauvin abused his position of trust and authority; he treated Floyd with particular cruelty; committed the crime as part of a group of three other officers; and committed murder in front of children.
The crime that “shocked the conscience” of the United States
African American George Floyd, 46, was killed on May 25, 2020, in the middle of a police arrest after a store manager called police accusing Floyd of paying with a false bill.
According to images recorded by witnesses, the officers subdued him and threw him to the ground, where Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, killing him.
In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors for the Minnesota attorney general’s office wrote that Chauvin’s crime “shocked the conscience of the nation.”
In addition, in presenting arguments during the trial, the Prosecutor’s Office assured that the African American did not represent a threat and reproached Chauvin for not having “common sense” when detaining a citizen, for which he described his actions as “irrational”. and that of three other officers involved.
The defense stated that there was no evidence that the victim died of suffocation. But an independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family concluded a year ago that he did die of asphyxiation. The document assures that the American died due to a “compression of the neck and back” that led to a “lack of blood supply” to the brain.
According to the report of the specialists, both the weight of agent Derek Chauvin on Floyd’s back, as well as the friction of the handcuffs they put on him and the posture with which they laid him on the floor contributed to the paralysis of his diaphragm.
This death sparked a wave of protests inside and outside the United States, with thousands of citizens claiming to be tired of the abuse by white police officers against African Americans. The motto ‘Black Lives Matter’, or the lives of blacks matter, reached different corners of the world. Floyd joined an extensive list of Afro people killed by the police.
With Reuters and AP