Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 05:37 pm
One of the most horrific moments in the history of human violence that changed the whole world facing COVID-19 suddenly into a mourning land rife with prejudice, brutality, and minoritism, was the event of "Murder of George Floyd". The date May 25, 2020, appears to be very terrible and heartbreaking since on this day, a 46-year-old black man, Floyd was viciously murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.
Floyd was arrested on suspicion of simply using a counterfeit worth "$20 bill", which wouldn't have been a huge deal if it had been a white man doing it, but because it was a black man, he was handcuffed and lying on his face down. Wait, that wasn't enough for the cop; he viciously knelt on Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds straight.
Floyd had shown signs of anxiousness and repeatedly complained about being unable to breathe even expressing his fear of imminent death while handcuffed and before being thrown on the ground. Floyd repeatedly said "I can't breathe", "Mama", and "please". He ceased speaking and laid lifeless for another two minutes after several minutes of harsh kneeling on his neck without allowing him to breathe.
Despite this, the police officer refused to lift his knee until advised to do so by paramedics. But it was too late, Floyd's pure soul already had left the body.
The police officer who kneeled on Floyd's neck was a Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin who had a record of 18 complaints against him in his two-decade-long career till 2020 when he was fired for the brutal use of power alongside other 3 officers, Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao who were also there during the whole time.
That event shocked, grieved, and mourned the entire globe, and within hours after his death, the George Floyd protest began, with the bystander video becoming viral throughout the world.
It swiftly spread across the country and the world, spawning the "Black Lives Matter" movement, which drew a total of 15-16 million people to the streets, making it the greatest demonstration in US history. It's been already a year since that brutal incident happened, and now people are more curious to know about the former police officer, Derek Chauvin, who currently is sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.
Who is Derek Chauvin?
Derek Chauvin, well the most hated name in the world, is a 45-years old American former police officer who is currently charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the conviction of murder of George Floyd. He served at Minneapolis Police Department(MPD) for almost 2 decades from 2001 till 2020 when he was fired on May 26, 2020, following his act of police brutality.
He previously served as a military at US Army Reserve for 8 years as well. Despite his 25 years of experience, his contribution to the country did not appear to be effective. His blunder in dealing with a black man for a $20 note was problematic and questionable, since it resulted in the death of an innocent man, causing anguish to the victim's family.
Born in the year of 1976, Derek was raised by his divorced parents who took joint custody of him. He briefly attended Park High School, later earned a certificate in quantity food preparation at Dakota County Technical College. Before he headed to the military of the US army, he worked as a pre-cook at McDonald's and a restaurant as well.
At age of 20, he joined the United States Army Reserve from 1996 to 2004. He continued his studies throughout this time, attending Inver Hills Community College from 1995 to 1999 before transferring to Metropolitan State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in law enforcement in 2006.
Later in 2001, he joined the Minneapolis Police Department(MPD) and while on the force he was engaged in three police shootings, one of which was fatal.
Talking about his personal life, Derek was a married man until May 30, 2020, when his ex-wife, Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce the day before he was arrested for Floyd's murder. The death of Floyd left Kellie in shock and she was devasted following which she straightly took the harsh decision of her life getting divorced from her husband with whom she was married for years.
Kellie is a Hmong refugee from Laos who is a real estate agent and photographer who even had won a "Mrs. Minnesota" beauty pageant in 2018. Their divorce was finalized in February 2021.
Former Police Officer Sentenced to 22.5 years in death of George Floyd
After a year since George Floyd was brutally murdered, the victim's family has finally received justice. Derek will be serving a total of 22.5 years in prison well at least 15 years behind bars for the death of George Floyd.
On June 25, 2021, after months of his trials, he was sentenced to 22.5 years behind bars. With it, he became the first white Minnesotan police officer to be convicted of murdering a black person.
Though he was previously arrested on May 29, 2020, he was released on conditional bail on October 7, 2020, after posting a bond of $1 million. Now after months of his release, he finally has been found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter on April 20, 2021.
Until his hearing, he was held at Oak Park Heights in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day in an isolated wing of the prison, where he was under constant watch "for fears for his safety".
During the last hearing on Friday, Chauvin broke his long courtroom silence, extending condolences to Floyd's family and expressing his hope that further information would provide them with "some peace of mind."
Without any elaboration, he said: “But very briefly, though, I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family. There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest. And I hope things will give you some peace of mind.” His condolences felt to be kind of half-hearted.
Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson called Floyd's death to be a tragic incident and that Chauvin's brain was littered with what-ifs: “What if I just did not agree to go in that day? What if things had gone differently? What if I never responded to that call? What if what if what if?”
His attorney tried asking for a new trial request but the judge denied their request. However, Floyd’s family members took the stand and expressed sorrow about his death asking for the maximum penalty:
“We don’t want to see no more slaps on the wrist. We’ve been through that already.”
After hearing from both sides, the judge made his decision on behalf of justice for George Floyd and his grieved family. A total of 22.5 years have been sentenced to Chauvin which however is very less punishment compared to someone's life. In short, this incident has helped to reach out to all the black men struggling every single day afraid of losing their life by some white police officer.