Saturday, June 26, 2021

US Ex-Police Officer Sentenced To Over 22 Years For George Floyd Murder.



"The sentence is not based on emotion or sympathy," said Judge Peter Cahill, handing down the term at a Minneapolis court after prosecutors sought a 30-year sentence.


Minneapolis, United States: Former policeman Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison on Friday for the murder of African American George Floyd, the killing that sparked America's biggest demonstrations for racial justice in decades.

The white, 45-year-old Chauvin gave his "condolences" to the Floyd family in a Minneapolis court, without apologizing, before Judge Peter Cahill handed down a lesser sentence than the 30 years the prosecution had sought.

"This (jail term) is based on your abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd," Cahill told Chauvin, who listened impassively.

The decision was read out at the end of a tense hearing in which the court watched a recorded message by Floyd's seven-year-old daughter and heard from Chauvin's mother.

అమెరికాలో జార్జ్ ఫ్లాయిడ్ హ‌త్య ఎంత‌టి సంచ‌ల‌నం సృష్టించిందో చెప్పాల్సిన అవ‌స‌రం లేదు.  బ్లాక్ లైవ్ మ్యాట‌ర్ అనే ఉద్యమానికి దారి తీసింది.  వ‌ర్ణ వివ‌క్ష‌ను నిర‌సిస్తూ ఆ దేశంలో పెద్ద ఎత్తున ప్ర‌జ‌లు రోడ్ల‌మీద‌కు వ‌చ్చారు.  జార్జ్ ఫ్లాయిడ్ మ‌ర‌ణానికి కార‌ణ‌మైన పోలీస్ అధికారుల‌ను ఇప్ప‌టికే ఉద్యోగాల నుంచి తొలగించారు.  కాగా వీరిపై కేసులు న‌మోదు చేయ‌డంతో కోర్టు విచార‌ణ జ‌రిపింది.

 జార్జ్ ఫ్లాయిడ్ మ‌ర‌ణానికి కార‌ణ‌మైన పోలీసు అధికారి డెరిక్ చౌవిన్‌కు మినియాపోలీస్ కోర్టు 22.5 సంవ‌త్స‌రాల జైలు శిక్ష‌ను విధించింది.  డెరిక్ స‌త్ప‌వ‌ర్త‌నతో ఉంటే 12 ఏళ్ల త‌రువాత పెరోల్ ఇవ్వొచ్చ‌ని కోర్టు పేర్కొన్న‌ది.  గ‌రిష్టంగా డెరిక్‌కు 12.5 సంవ‌త్సరాల జైలు శిక్ష‌ను విధించాల‌ని ప‌బ్లిక్ ప్రాసిక్యూట‌ర్ కోర్టుకు విన్న‌వించ‌గా, కోర్టు మాత్రం డెరిక్‌కు 22.5 సంవ‌త్సరాల జైలు శిక్ష‌ను విధించింది

The Floyd family's lawyer called the sentencing a "historic" step towards racial reconciliation in the United States.

"(It) brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability," Ben Crump tweeted.

President Joe Biden said: "I don't know all the circumstances that were considered but it seems to me, under the guidelines, that seems to be appropriate."

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton said it sent "a message of accountability," despite being less than what the family wanted.

Chauvin, who has been behind bars since being convicted on three counts of murder and manslaughter two months ago, wore a light gray suit as he learnt his fate following a trial that captivated the world.

He spoke briefly, after declining to testify during his six-week trial.

"I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family," Chauvin said after removing his face mask.

"At this time due to some additional legal matters at hand, I'm not able to give a full formal statement at this time."

"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 added.

Before he spoke, Carolyn Pawlenty said her son, Chauvin, was a "good man."

"I have always believed in your innocence and I will never waver from that," she said.

Earlier, the court watched a moving video from the late Floyd's daughter, Gianna Floyd.

"I miss you and I love you," the girl said when asked in the recorded message what she said would say to her father today.

Chauvin and three colleagues arrested Floyd, 46, in May 2020 on suspicion of having passed a fake $20 bill in a store in Minneapolis, a northern city of around 420,000. They handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground in the street.

Chauvin then knelt on the back of Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes, indifferent to the dying man's groans and to the pleas of distraught passers-by.

The scene, filmed and uploaded by a young woman, quickly went viral. After weeks of home confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people poured onto streets across the country and overseas, to demand an end to racism and police brutality.

It took weeks for the mass demonstrations to taper off, but the debate around the pressing social issues remains vivid in the United States, where Biden has been slow to come up with the police reforms he promised during his campaign.

Minnesota law provides for a minimum sentence of 12.5 years but Floyd's brother, Terrence Floyd, his voice choking, told the court Cahill should hand Chauvin the stiffest term possible.

'Particular cruelty'

"Why? What were you thinking? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother's neck?" demanded Floyd, urging Chauvin to explain the reason for the murder.

Cahill said his sentence was "not based on emotion or sympathy," but the law, and in a 22-page sentencing memorandum identified aggravating circumstances that brought a heavier punishment.

They included that Chauvin's offense occurred in front of minors and that he "committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least three other" officers.

Chauvin's trial was closely followed across the country.

His lawyer said Chauvin had followed police procedures in force at the time and that Floyd's death was due to health problems exacerbated by drug use.

The jurors took less than 10 hours to convict. Their decision was greeted with a huge sigh of relief across the country. Many had feared an acquittal would lead to worse unrest, while others worried that once again a white police officer would get away with what they saw as murder.

With good behavior, Chauvin could serve just two-thirds of any prison sentence, with the remaining third on supervised release.

The defense will appeal the verdict, Nelson has said, citing doubts over the impartiality of some juror

How George Floyd Was Killed in Police Custody


On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a convenience store employee called 911 and told the police that Mr. Floyd had bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life.

By combining videos from bystanders and security cameras, reviewing official documents and consulting experts, The New York Times reconstructed in detail the minutes leading to Mr. Floyd’s death. Our video shows officers taking a series of actions that violated the policies of the Minneapolis Police Department and turned fatal, leaving Mr. Floyd unable to breathe, even as he and onlookers called out for help.

The day after Mr. Floyd’s death, the Police Department fired all four of the officers involved in the episode. On May 29, the Hennepin County attorney, Mike Freeman, announced third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges against Derek Chauvin, the officer seen most clearly in witness videos pinning Mr. Floyd to the ground. Mr. Chauvin, who is white, kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes and 15 seconds, according to a Times analysis of timestamped video. Our video investigation shows that Mr. Chauvin did not remove his knee even after Mr. Floyd lost consciousness and for a full minute and 20 seconds after paramedics arrived at the scene.

On June 3, Hennepin County prosecutors added a more serious second-degree murder charge against Mr. Chauvin and also charged each of the three other former officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — with aiding and abetting second-degree murder

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