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Tuesday, Nov. 28
The Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices

Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years for the murder of George Floyd


On Friday June 25th, Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years for the murder of George Floyd

Twenty-two and a half years.

This is a moment of joy, but also a moment to think. Let this sentencing signal the beginning of an era. An era in which cops and racist white people can’t just murder for the sake of racism, there are consequences to your actions. 

I don’t think 22 and a half years is enough. Especially when Chauvin is only expected to serve 15 when the maximum sentence is 30. I think Chauvin deserves life. The world watched as he knelt on George Floyd’s neck sparking the controversial line of “8 minutes 46 seconds.” 

As if the murder wasn’t enough, this isn’t the first time Chauvin has kneeled on someone’s neck. There are six other people from as far back as 2015, who also went through the same type of interaction with the officer turned convict. 

Monroe Skinaway witnessed Chauvin using excessive force after calling the police to report his grandson’s car missing. Officers ended up arresting a man named Sir Rilee Peet, but here is where Skinaway’s testimony gets interesting. 

According to MPRnews, Skinaway recalls seeing the officer on top of Peet and the officer put Peet’s head, face down, in a rain puddle. This was something not put in Chauvin’s report of the incident. 

“He said, ‘I can’t breathe — can I just put my head up,’” Skinaway said. “And they just held his face in the water, and I couldn’t see a purpose for that.”

This testimony raises further questions about the police code of conduct. What kind of officer, who has a history of cases like this where they routinely have to investigate excessive force and racked up 18 complaints in 19 years, is allowed to still be a cop? 

Why are we relying on the police to report their own actions to their superiors? 

Even in the focus of the Floyd case, Chauvin didn’t report to his boss immediately that he kneeled on Floyd’s neck.When he did, he did not say it was for more than nine minutes. In fact he simply told his supervisor, Sgt. David Pleoger, Floyd had a “medical emergency.” 

Now explain to me this, if Chauvin saw his reaction as appropriate, why would he lie to his superior? If this sort of incident was in line with police conduct, why did a police dispatcher call Sgt. Pleoger and inform him of the incident.

“She called to say she didn’t mean to be a snitch, but she’d seen something while viewing a camera that she thought was concerning,” the dispatcher said to Pleoger, according to his testimony. 

Derek Chauvin was a ticking time bomb, and it was simply a matter of time before he killed someone. According to the MPRnews article, he had already sent an asthmatic man into the hospital for over a day; he just needed a reason. 

Why is a murderer like this only facing 22 and a half years when there are men, like Allen Russel, serving life for possession of 1.5 ounces of weed? Men who will spend the rest of their lives in jail or at the very least 30 years. But men like Chauvin, after brutally murdering someone, can just walk away to kill again. 

Derek Chauvin is a menace to society who never deserves to walk free in society again.

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