After a judge sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Friday to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd on Friday, people couldn’t help but feel like the punishment did not fit the crime.
The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in April. Floyd died last May after Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for up to 9.5 minutes.
Before the sentencing, legal experts anticipated that he would face 20 to 25 years in prison, while prosecutors were seeking a 30-year prison stint. While Minnesota sentencing protocol suggests 12.5 years, Judge Peter Cahill sided with prosecutors that there “were aggravating circumstances that could justify a heavier punishment,” the Associated Press writes, including the fact that “Chauvin treated Floyd with particular cruelty, abused his position of authority as a police officer, and did it in front of children.”
Floyd family attorney Ben Crump, in a statement, said the “historic sentence” brings the family and nation “one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability.”
“With Chauvin’s sentence, we take a significant step forward – something that was unimaginable a very short time ago,” he said.
But not everyone was satisfied.
Shortly after the hearing, Jemele Hill took to Twitter to share her thoughts on Chauvin’s sentencing.
“If you’re wondering if Derek Chauvin’s sentence is fair, Chauvin will be 60 years old when he’s released from prison after serving 15 years of his 22 1/2-year sentence. George Floyd was murdered by Chauvin when he was 46. Floyd can never resume his life. Chauvin can,” she wrote in a post.
Hill was one of many notable figures who felt like Chauvin should have received a longer sentence, while others said that justice could never be served after Floyd lost his life.
Check out more reactions to Chauvin’s prison sentence below.