Derek Chauvin, the former cop who shot and killed George Floyd on a Minneapolis street last year, received a 22-and-a-half-year phrase on Friday.
The punishment — which came after Chauvin broke his yearlong silence to offer condolences to the Floyd family and express hope that they eventually have “some peace of mind” — is one of the longest prison terms ever imposed on a U.S. police officer in the killing of a Black person.
However, Floyd’s family and others were disappointed. The punishment fell short of the prosecutors’ request of 30 years in prison. Chauvin, 45, could be eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of his sentence, or nearly 15 years if he maintains good behavior.
“Just because it’s the most time doesn’t mean it’s enough time,” said Nekima Levy Armstrong, a Minneapolis protest leader.
Cahill said the former officer “objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd’s pleas’ even as Mr. Floyd was begging for his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die.”
“Mr. Chauvin’s prolonged restraint of Mr. Floyd was also much longer and more painful than the typical scenario in a second-degree or third-degree murder or second-degree manslaughter case,” the judge wrote.
Bystander footage of Floyd’s arrest on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a corner store sparked worldwide protests, resulting in scattered violence in Minneapolis and elsewhere, as well as calls for police forces to be overhauled.
“I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family. There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest. And I hope things will give you some peace of mind,” he said without further explanation.