UNITED STATES: On Thursday, ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison by a US court for violating George Floyd’s civil rights during his May 2020 arrest. Chauvin was initially given a sentence of 21 years, but Senior US District Court Judge Paul Magnuson lowered it owing to time served by seven months.
Chauvin was already serving a 22-and-a-half-year term for murder when this sentence was added on.
The ex-police officer was indicted last year on grave accounts of murder after the death of George Floyd sparked global protests demanding justice for black lives.
Chauvin’s sentence sends a serious message to police offenders who slip through the cracks in the US federal system after committing heinous acts on US citizens, especially black lives.
According to Assistant Attorney General Kirsten Clarke, the punishment should send a strong message that the Justice Department stands ready to prosecute law enforcement officials who use deadly force without reason.
“While no amount of prison time can reverse the tragic consequences of Derek Chauvin’s violent actions, we hope that this sentence provides some small measure of justice for the families and communities impacted”.
Both of these jail terms will run concurrently. Still, Chauvin will have the option of doing his time in a federal facility rather than a Minnesota state prison, where he has been detained in isolation during his trial.
Chauvin did not apologize for his actions and stated that he currently understood his current position. However, he acknowledged the decision as being given in a “politically charged environment.”
Magnuson was baffled by Chauvin’s lack of remorse and stated, “I really don’t know why you did what you did,” while delivering the sentence on Thursday.
Chauvin’s crime, which was executed in footage showing the ex-cop pinning his knee on George Floyd for more than nine minutes, sparked outrage globally and online as people questioned police ethics in the matter of black lives. Incidentally, Chauvin has a track record of committing police brutality. Earlier in 2017, he faced charges of violating the rights of a 14-year-old boy for kneeling on his back for 17 minutes. Chauvin will serve a sentence concurrently for this.