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Floyd?s family to testify in Chauvin sentencing: Live updates

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Judge Peter Cahill sentences Chauvin to 22.5 years for murder of George Floyd, citing aggravating factors.A judge on Friday will sentence former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd last year.Here are the latest updates:Ben Feist, chief programs officer of the ACLU of Minnesota, said in a statement that “for the first time in state history, a white officer will face prison time for murdering a Black man.”Feist noted the “systems that led to Mr. Floyd’s murder by police are still intact, and police are still on track to kill 1,000 people this year.“We must re-examine our entire system of public safety and public health, and root out the racism that pervades law enforcement.”Feist went on recommend police be removed “from low-level enforcement and divert money toward community-based services such as crisis-response teams”, echoing calls from sections of the Defund the Police movement.Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump standing outside the Minneapolis court house thanked millions of Americans who echoed the family’s calls for justice.“This is the longest sentence that a police officer has ever been sentenced to, in the history of the state of Minnesota. It’s time to act.”Ronald Sullivan, the faculty director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute, said he believed it was unlikely the judge would have given a sentence less than the maximum if he had sentenced a Black man with killing a police officer.It’s “inconsistent with the way justice is supposed to happen in the United States, but it’s the reality,” Sullivan told Al Jazeera.When asked about the appropriate steps forward, Sullivan replied: “I think that citizens across the country in the US have to keep their foot on the gas pedal … they have to continue to press their politicians for significant police reform.“We in the United States see this case as a beginning and not an end,” he concluded.Judge Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22.5 years for the murder of George Floyd on Friday.Cahill said the “sentence is not based on emotion, or sympathy, but at the same time I want to acknowledge the tremendous pain that all the families are feeling – especially the Floyd family. You know, that that’s their brother,” Crump said.Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, speaks during a news conference after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in Floyd’s killing, in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 20, 2021 [File: John Minchillo/AP Photo]It remains unclear whether Chauvin, who did not testify at his own trial, would take the opportunity to speak at his sentencing.Chauvin is also awaiting trial on federal civil rights charges in Floyd’s death, along with three other fired officers who have yet to have their state trials.Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump said there “was nothing typical about what Derek Chauvin did in torturing George Floyd to death” and he and the family “don’t expect it to be a typical sentence”.No amount of sentencing time will bring back George Floyd, but it can help us get closer to achieving equal justice and accountability.

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