While there is nothing that can bring George Floyd back, many individuals across the United States saw the prosecution of Derek Chauvin as the first step towards justice in anti-Black policing. The viral footage that displayed the fateful moment Chauvin rested his knee on Floyd's windpipe outside a Minneapolis corner store sparked large-scale national outrage last summer and endless calls for justice.
Chauvin was ultimately convicted on all three charges he was facing: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, in connection to Floyd’s death. According to CNN, the former police officer is scheduled to face his sentencing on June 16th, a little more than a year after Floyd was killed. The attempted arrest took place on May 25th of last year and the heartbreaking footage shows Floyd pleading that he could not breathe before losing consciousness.
He was eventually pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, igniting protests all across the world calling for Chauvin to be prosecuted for the heinous act. It also renewed and added fuel to the existing dialogue surrounding the reality of racialized policing and brutality from law enforcement against the Black community.
CNN explains that Chauvin is possibly facing a combined sentence of 75 years behind bars: 40 years for his second-degree murder charge, while the maximum sentences for the charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter are 25 and 10 years, respectively. Experts note that it's very likely that Chauvin will be hit with a 15-year prison sentence instead since he has no prior criminal record.
The landmark case is one of the first instances where a police officer involved in high-profile police brutality was actually prosecuted. The filmed police beating of Rodney King by LAPD famously resulted in the acquittal of all officers involved, sparking the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
We'll keep updated with developments in Derek Chauvin's case. We also extend our hearts to George Floyd's family and loved ones as the case comes to a close.