Philonise Floyd: “Your skin color should not define who you are. It should never be a weapon”
Philonise Floyd reflected on his brother George Floyd’s life following the sentencing of Derek Chauvin and what his loss means to his niece.
“The fact that Gianna will grow up knowing that her father had made a difference in the world, but the fact that she cannot have a sweet 16, she cannot have him walk her down the aisle. She will not be able to have prom with the daddy dance. This is not something realistic. This is something it’s like a dream, but we all need to stand up for what is right,” Philonise Floyd said.
Philonise Floyd added: “I have so many different people I spoke to, Africa, all around the world, and they all think the same way. Your skin color should not define who you are. It should never be a weapon.”9 min ago
Minnesota attorney general calls on Congress to pass “strongest version” of the George Floyd policing bill
From CNN’s Jason Kurtz
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is calling on lawmakers to help curb police brutality.
“I’m not talking about the kind of change that takes decades. I’m talking about real change, concrete change that real people can do now,” said Ellison in the wake of Derek Chauvin’s sentencing.
“At this historic moment, there is so much legislation around the country, in city councils, county boards, state legislatures, and Congress that is still waiting to be passed. If these bills were passed, they would make the deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers less likely.”
On Friday afternoon, a judge in Minnesota sentenced Chauvin, a former police officer, to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.
“Every one of these bills at every level of government is critical for helping our families, our law enforcement officers, communities, and the country heal,” said Ellison. “Above all, Congress has still not passed the George Floyd Justice [in] Policing Act. I call on leaders and members of Congress to pass the best and strongest version of this bill.”
Citing a continued “distrust between community and police,” Ellison noted that such a fissure leads to an increase in violence and death.
“And at a moment where violent crime is spiking across the nation in major cities, we simply cannot afford the distrust,” said Ellison. “The schism leaves us all a little less safe.”20 min ago
Biden says Chauvin’s sentencing “seems to be appropriate” under the guidelines
From CNN’s DJ Judd
President Biden reacted Friday to the sentencing verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, telling reporters in the Oval Office, “I don’t know all the circumstances that were considered, but it seems to me, under the guidelines, that seems to be appropriate.”
Chauvin was sentenced earlier Friday to 22 and a half years for the second-degree unintentional murder of George Floyd. Sentences for the lesser convictions of second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder were not adjudicated.
Biden, when asked to react to the sentence, told reporters in the Oval Office, “I’ve not been able to hear anything about what’s happened,” prompting a reporter to inform him of Chauvin’s sentence.10 min ago
Attorney Ben Crump says “real justice would be George Floyd still being here with his family”
Attorney Ben Crump, who represents George Floyd’s family, said the prison sentence for Derek Chauvin should “not be the exception when a Black person is killed by brutality by police.”
“Today represents an opportunity to be a turning point in America. This is the longest sentence that a police officer has ever been sentenced to in the history of the state of Minnesota,” Crump said in a speech following Chauvin’s sentencing in Minneapolis. “But this should not be the exception when a Black person is killed by brutality by police. It should be the norm. And so when we think about real justice, real justice would be George Floyd still being here with his family.”
Rev. Al Sharpton says the Chauvin sentence is “not justice because George Floyd is in a grave tonight”
Rev. Al Sharpton was critical of the 22.5 year jail sentence imposed on Derek Chauvin this afternoon, saying the former police officer should have received the maximum sentence.
“This verdict and this sentencing is the longest sentence we’ve seen, but it is not justice because George Floyd is in a grave tonight even though Chauvin will be in jail,” Sharpton said during a speech in Minneapolis. “So let us not feel that we’re here to celebrate because justice would’ve been George Floyd never had been killed. Justice would’ve been the maximum.”
Sharpton added: “We got more than we thought only because we have been disappointed so many times before, 22 and a half years is longer than we’ve ever got. But shorter than what we should’ve gotten in the past.”
Minnesota attorney general says the outcome of the Chauvin case “is not enough”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison placed the sentencing of Derek Chauvin this afternoon in perspective, saying he hopes “this moment gives us pause and allows us to rededicate ourselves to the real societal change that will move us much further along the road to justice.”
“My hope is that he takes the time to learn something about the man whose life he took and about the movement that rolls up to call for justice in the wake of George Floyd’s torture and death. Today is also an important moment for our country. The outcome of this case is critically important. But by itself, it’s not enough. My hope for our country is that this moment gives us pause and allows us to rededicate ourselves to the real societal change that will move us much further along the road to justice.”
Ellison went on to call for the passage of The George Floyd Justice and Policing Act, which remains stalled in Congress.
“I call on leaders and members of Congress to pass the best and strongest version of this bill that can be passed and to pass it now. President Biden called on the Congress to pass this bill. It must be passed. Lives are depending upon it. It’s just that simple,” he said.
Floyd family calls Chauvin sentence “one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability”
From CNN’s Keith Allen
Floyd family attorney Ben Crump issued a statement moments after ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison for George Floyd’s murder Friday afternoon.
“This historic sentence brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability. For once, a police officer who wrongly took the life of a Black man was held to account,” Crump and the Floyd family said in Friday’s statement.
“Day after day, year after year, police kill Black people without consequence. But today, with Chauvin’s sentence, we take a significant step forward – something that was unimaginable a very short time ago,” the statement continued.55 min ago
Floyd’s sister following the sentencing: “Matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously”
From CNN’s Omar Jimenez
Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister and founder of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, issued a statement moments after Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for Floyd’s murder Friday afternoon.
“The sentence handed down today to the Minneapolis police officer who killed my brother George Floyd shows that matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously,” the statement said. “However, we have a long way to go and many changes to make before Black and Brown people finally feel like they are being treated fairly and humanely by law enforcement in this country.”
“Our focus at the George Floyd Memorial Foundation will now move to building support to ensure that the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act becomes law and brings with it the hope for the substantive change that we need so desperately in this country,” the statement continued.42 min ago
Van Jones calls the Chauvin sentence “very disappointing” and a “punch in the gut”
From CNN’s Josiah Ryan
CNN political commentator Van Jones reacted moments after the judged sentenced Derek Chauvin to 22 1/2 years in prison, calling the sentence “very disappointing” and saying the judge should have handed down the maximum possible penalty for the murder of George Floyd.
“I know people doing 15 years for nothing, for victimless crimes of drug possession,” said Jones, referring to the minimum time Chauvin is likely to serve in the case. “Very disappointing.”
Jones pointed to aggravating factors the judge had identified in the case, saying they should have resulted in harsher sentence both as a punitive measure for Chauvin, but also as a warning to other law enforcement officials.
“Any one of those aggravators, what this man did, it should’ve been the maximum of the maximum,” said Jones. “It’s a punch in the gut.”
“Law enforcement across the country should look at something like this and say, look, you can’t do this type of stuff, you’re never going to come back home,” Jones said. “It’s disappointing.”