NFL players speak out in displeasure with Derek Chauvin’s 22.5 year sentencing after killing George Floyd.
The decision of Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill to sentence former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin to 22.5 years for his role in the murder of George Floyd caused an outrage in the NFL community and players wasted no time sharing their reactions.
Quarterback Robert Griffen III took it to Twitter to say, “22.5 years is not enough for Derek Chauvin MURDERING George Floyd in broad daylight when we have people serving life sentences for non violent crimes.”
Chicago Bears wide-receiver, Anthony Mille tweeted, “Dude only got 22 years.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety, Curtis Riley made two tweets, “22.5 years smfh.” He followed with “He should have gotten the max penalty easily.”
While the NFL players are displeased with the sentencing, others expressed mixed emotions.
Some felt Cahill gave an unfair sentencing, while some felt that the sentencing served as a step forward in solving the manner of police brutality.
Immediately after the sentencing, CNN political commentator Van Jones, who felt the sentence was inadequate, reacted first, calling the ruling “very disappointing” and saying the judge should have handed down the maximum possible penalty for the murder of George Floyd.
“I know people doing 15 years for nothing, for victimless crimes of drug possession,” Jones added in reference to Chauvin’s light sentencing. “Very disappointing.”
Community leader Rev. Al Sharpton agreed that Chauvin should have had a tougher sentence.
He said, “This verdict and this sentencing is the longest sentence we’ve seen, but it is not justice because George Floyd is in a grave tonight even though Chauvin will be in jail,” Sharpton said during a speech in Minneapolis. “So let us not feel that we’re here to celebrate because justice would’ve been George Floyd never had been killed. Justice would’ve been the maximum.”
Currently 22.5 years is the longest time a police officer has been sentenced after being convicted of a police brutality crime in the state of Minnesota, and the George family feels as if America made progression in this matter.
Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister and founder of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, issued a statement after the Friday sentencing.
“The sentence handed down today to the Minneapolis police officer who killed my brother George Floyd shows that matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously,” the statement said. “However, we have a long way to go and many changes to make before Black and Brown people finally feel like they are being treated fairly and humanely by law enforcement in this country.”
Subsequently, the Floyd family attorney, Ben Crump, issued a statement on the family’s behalf that sided with Bridgett’s state forward-moving.
“This historic sentence brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability. For once, a police officer who wrongly took the life of a Black man was held to account,” Crump and the Floyd family said.
The statement continued, “Day after day, year after year, police kill Black people without consequence. But today, with Chauvin’s sentence, we take a significant step forward – something that was unimaginable a very short time ago.”
Prosecutors wanted a maximum 40-year max sentence, but according to CNN, the Minnesota state guidelines say that for Chauvin, a person with no priors, “the presumptive sentence for both second-degree and third-degree murder is 12 1/2 years. The judge was given the discretion to hand down a sentence between 10 years and eight months and 15 years for each.
Second-degree manslaughter carries a presumptive sentence of four years for someone with no record, according to the guidelines. The judge’s discretion ranged from three years and five months to four years and eight months.”
In spite of the lesser sentencing, Judge Cahill, who expressed his condolences for the Floyd family, said he did not make his sentencing “based on emotion or sympathy.” Cahill continued, “But at the same time I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family. You have our sympathies,” Cahill said. “It has been painful throughout Hennepin County, throughout the state of Minnesota, and even the country. But most importantly we need to recognize the pain of the Floyd family.”