George Floyd's family: Derek Chauvin jail term 'not harsh enough'

26 June 2021, 00:43

George Floyd's brother Philonise with other family members at a meeting with Nancy Pelosi in May
George Floyd's brother Philonise with other family members at a meeting with Nancy Pelosi in May. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The family of George Floyd have said Derek Chauvin's 22-and-a-half year jail term for his murder is "not harsh enough".

Relatives of the man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis last year have branded the killer's prison sentence as too lenient.

One of Mr Floyd's brothers, Rodney Floyd, called the jail term handed to ex-police officer Chauvin a "slap on the wrist".

He said: "We've suffered a life sentence for not having him in our life, and that hurts me to death."

Chauvin, the white former cop who was filmed pinning George Floyd to the ground with his knee for more than nine minutes, was jailed for 22 years and six months on Friday.

In April, he was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of Mr Floyd on 25 May 2020.

Read more: Derek Chauvin jailed for over 22 years for murdering George Floyd

Read more: 'I miss and love you': Family give impact statements prior to sentencing

The former Minneapolis police officer was also banned from owning firearms for life.

On Friday, he stepped to the lectern after impact statements, to say: "I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family."

Mr Floyd's case drew global attention after his death prompted protests across the world.

Another brother, Terrence Floyd, said he was "a little leery about the sentencing" until he had a dream in which his father appeared.

"I knew my father was saying, 'You're good. he's good. keep doing what you're doing. For me, for your brother, for your name,'" he added.

"We're Floyd strong and we're gonna stay strong."

Read more: Former officer Derek Chauvin found guilty of George Floyd murder

Explained: A timeline of events as Derek Chauvin is found guilty of murder

Meanwhile, George's nephew Brandon Williams said the sentence was not harsh enough.

"We can't get George back," he said.

The family's attorney Ben Crump said his loved ones had got "some measure of accountability" but that they are hoping Chauvin gets the maximum at his upcoming federal civil rights trial.

Mr Crump added that it was the longest sentence a police officer has ever received in the state of Minnesota.

"Real justice would simply be that George Floyd would be here with his family," Mr Crump said.

"We have to remember, real justice in America will be black men and black women and people of colour who will not have to fear being killed by the police just because the colour of their skin. That would be real justice."