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Derek Chauvin’s sentencing brings US ‘one step closer to healing’, Floyd family attorney says as world reacts

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Derek Chauvin’s sentencing brings US ‘one step closer to healing’, Floyd family attorney says as world reacts 2

Derek Chauvin’s sentencing on Friday in the murder of George Floyd brings the US “one step closer to healing”, Ben Crump, the lawyer representing the Floyd family has said.

Chauvin was sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison on Friday.

The sentence is 10 years above the 12.5-year guideline for second-degree unintentional murder, due to aggravating factors.

“22.5 YEARS!” Mr Crump wrote in a tweet, responding to the sentencing.

“This historic sentence brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability,” he said.

Mr Crump also issued a statement that he said was issued with the Floyd family.

“For once, a police officer who wrongly took the life of a Black man was held to account,” the statement said. “While this shouldn’t be exceptional, tragically it is.”

“Day after day, year after year, police kill Black people without any consequence. But today, with Chauvin’s sentence, we take a significant step forward – something that was unimaginable a very short time ago.”

Asked about the verdict, President Joe Biden said he did not “know all the circumstances that were considered”.

However, he said of Chauvin’s sentencing: “Under the guidelines, that seems to be appropriate”.

While for some, Friday’s sentencing appeared to seem fitting, others were disappointed by Chauvin’s sentencing.

In a short tweet, political commentator Van Jones wrote: “Very disappointing,” before adding the “#ChauvinSentencing” hashtag.

Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, shared in Mr Jones’ sentiments, asserting that Chauvin’s sentence “fell short of what true justice would look like for Mr Floyd and his family”.

“Full Accountability is key to creating an unbiased justice system,” he said in a tweet.

Noting Chauvin’s sentence and the fact that he “can never own firearms again [and] must register as a predatory offender upon release”, writer Roxane Gay said: “George Floyd is still dead”.

New York City public defender Eliza Orlins also appeared to lament the sentence handed to Chauvin, writing: “As a public defender, I represented a man who was facing life in prison for stealing a jacket”.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it would take “more than a single sentence” to bring about “true justice” in the US.

“The systems that allowed Derek Chauvin to murder George Floyd largely remain intact today,” the ACLU said in a tweet.

“We need much more than a single sentence for a single officer when more than a thousand deaths came at the hands of police last year. True justice demands change,” the organisation said.

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