(Reuters) – A judge sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22-1/2 years in prison on Friday for the murder of George Floyd during an arrest in May 2020, video of which galvanized a national protest movement against racism.
A jury found Chauvin, who is white, guilty on April 20 of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd, a Black man. The verdict was widely seen as a landmark rebuke of the disproportionate use of police force against Black Americans.
Chauvin’s sentence was one of the longest given a former police officer for using unlawful deadly force in the United States, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office prosecuted the case, told reporters. Successful prosecutions of police officers in such cases have been rare.
“Today’s sentencing is not justice but it is another moment of real accountability on the road to justice,” Ellison said outside the courtroom, calling on law enforcement leaders around the United States to see it as a moment for reform.
At the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden, who has spoken several times with the Floyd family, said the sentence seemed appropriate.
Both Floyd’s brother Rodney and his nephew Brandon Williams criticized the sentence as a “slap on the wrist.”
“We were served a life sentence,” Williams said outside the courthouse. “We can’t get George back.”
Read the full report from Reuters.