Derek Chauvin will face his sentence on June 16, according to a document released on Friday April 23 by the Minnesota justice system. The American police officer convicted on Tuesday of the murder of George Floyd faces twelve and a half years in prison but his sentence could be extended if the magistrate concludes that there are aggravating circumstances.
The 45-year-old white police officer was on trial for killing the black forty-something by kneeling on his neck for nearly ten minutes during his May 2020 arrest in Minneapolis. The prosecution, which called several witnesses from the police to the stand, stressed that this trial was not that of the institution, but of an individual who “Betrayed” his police oath.
Derek Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, on the contrary called on the jurors to take into account the context of an arrest which, according to him, degenerates, with a suspect of an imposing size who resists four police officers wanting to control him.
The death of George Floyd has become a symbol of police brutality against minorities in the United States. His agony had been filmed by a passerby. The scene, broadcast on social networks, had been around the world, provoking angry protests and calls for in-depth reform of the American police, regularly accused of racism.
Minneapolis Police investigation opened
Justice Minister Merrick Garland on Wednesday announced the opening of an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department to determine whether they “Follows an unconstitutional or illegal policing model or practices”. The investigation aims to determine whether the police systematically use excessive force, including during legal demonstrations.
Several other deaths during police interventions took place during the three weeks of the trial, further increasing the tension in this city in the north of the United States.
On April 11, Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old African-American, was killed by a white police officer during an ordinary traffic stop in the suburbs of Minneapolis. His death led to rallies peppered with violence for several days.
And just before the verdict was announced, a 16-year-old black teenage girl was shot dead by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio. According to the images of the pedestrian camera carried by the officer, she appeared to attack another young girl with a knife.
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