On Friday June 25, Minnesota Judge Peter Cahill sentenced former police officer Derek Chauvin to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd. Floyd, a longtime Houston resident, died while restrained by Chauvin on May 25th, 2020, whose actions were captured on streaming video which shocked the nation, and was shared around the world.
After being laid to rest in Houston almost one year ago, Floyd’s death continued to be the driving force behind the people’s demand for justice for George Floyd and legislative action.
Chauvin was convicted in April for second degree manslaughter and second- and third-degree murder and has been since held in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights.
Derek Chauvin, one of three officers involved in arrest and murder of Floyd, knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 20 seconds while Floyd repeatedly stated he could not breathe.
Prior to being sentenced, Chauvin addressed the court for the first time, giving his condolences for the Floyd family before stating “There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest.”
However, many believe the conviction and sentencing are only the first step in reforming Texas legislation. After political leaders signaled an openness to reform, very few police reform policies were advanced in the regular legislative session, and few are expected to become law in Texas. The sentencing has renewed calls for passing federal laws to protect citizens from police who break the law and violate the rights of everyday Americans.