The family of George Floyd has expressed relief following the court ruling that condemned Derek Chauvin to 22 years in jail.
After being kept in solitary confinement since April, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin to 22 years in prison on Friday.
A family member was heard remarking in a BBC film that the black community can finally breathe. She also stated that the verdict is the start of the healing process for some, but not all, members of the black community.
George Floyd’s family also issued a formal statement through their lawyers.
It read, “For once, a police officer who wrongly took the life of a Black man was held to account.
“While this shouldn’t be exceptional, tragically it is.
“Day after day, year after year, police kill Black people without consequence.”
The statement calls for “real, lasting change in police departments from coast to coast” and for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021.
The BBC also published a statement by Bridgett Floyd who said there is still a long way to go.
“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,” she says.
“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.”
Bridgett has set up a non-profit foundation in her brother’s name.
“Our work at the George Floyd Memorial Foundation has only just begun because the fight for justice is far from over,” her statement adds.
Also speaking, Reverend Al Sharpton noted that justice would have been that Floyd was never killed.
“This is not justice because George Floyd is in a grave tonight even though Chauvin will be in jail,” he says.
“Justice would have been George Floyd never having been killed. Justice would have been the maximum,” Sharpton says, referring to the full 30-year sentence that the prosecution asked for.
He says that “22.5 years is longer than we have ever gotten but shorter than what we should have gotten in the past.”
He then leads the family and other onlookers in prayer.
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