MINNEAPOLIS – Relatives of George Floyd criticized the 22 1/2 year prison sentence given Friday to former police officer Derek Chauvin as a “slap on the wrist”.
During a press conference outside the Hennepin County courthouse, Floyd’s nephew Brandon Williams said “22 years is not enough”.
“We’ve been served a life sentence, we can’t get George back,” he said. “I feel [Chauvin] should also have received a life sentence. “
Williams said it was sending the wrong message that “you can kill a man in cold blood and get a slap on the wrist”.
“I’m not going to celebrate this,” he added, “but I’m going to celebrate a guilty conviction of a policeman who killed a black man.”
Floyd’s younger brother Rodney Floyd also busted the sentence.
“This, this 22-year prison sentence that you gave this man, is a slap on the wrist. We are serving a life sentence without him in our lives. And that hurts me to death, ”he said.
The 45-year-old chauvin had been given a maximum sentence of 40 years on the heaviest charge, accidental second-degree murder. According to sentencing guidelines, he could potentially quit for good behavior after serving two-thirds of his sentence or just under 15 years. Prosecutors demanded 30 years.
Outside the courthouse, Rev. Al Sharpton said Chauvin’s punishment was “no justice because George Floyd is not alive”.
“One sentence doesn’t solve a criminal justice problem,” he added.
Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump thanked the legions of Americans who took to the streets in protest after Floyd’s murder last May.
“We can breathe a little easier today and we thank you for that,” said Crump, adding, “We have now been given some accountability at the criminal level.”
He also pointed out that Chauvin could still face a longer prison sentence at his upcoming federal civil rights trial.
“The federal charges are still pending, so I believe … the maximum is still achievable to achieve maximum accountability for George Floyd,” he said.