Derek Chauvin, the killer of the African American George Floyd, was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. The verdict was announced on Friday evening.
Judge Peter Cahill emphasized at its announcement:
“The verdict is not based on emotion or sympathy. The decision is not based on public opinion, but on the requirements of the law and on specific facts in this case.”
Before the judge announced the verdict for second-degree murder, the accused Derek Shovin addressed the prosecution directly for the first time: “I want to express my condolences to the Floyd family.”
Prosecutors previously demanded 30 years in prison for Chauvin for a crime that shocked America a year ago and sparked the largest anti-racist demonstrations in history. Ben Crump, attorney for George Floyd’s family, welcomed the verdict:
“This historic judgment brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing.”
George Floyd died last May while being detained in Minneapolis. As the investigation showed, policeman Derek Shovin choked him, lying on the ground, with his knee for almost nine minutes. The death of the African American was widely publicized through eyewitness videos. She sparked unprecedented protests in the United States and other countries against racism and police violence.