Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced today to 22.5 years in prison for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for killing George Floyd in May 2020. In response, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement:
“While the sentencing of Derek Chauvin brings a measure of accountability for the murder of George Floyd, our hearts go out to the Floyd family and the friends of Mr. Floyd who will continue to grieve his loss long after today, and for whom justice would mean George Floyd would still be alive today.
“The circumstances in this case are extremely rare. For a measure of accountability, it took a courageous teenager putting herself at risk to record the slow torture of an unarmed Black man; harrowing and traumatic eyewitness testimony; the rare instance of a police chief and officers willing to testify against Chauvin; and so much more.
“Even now, we await the three upcoming trials for former police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao – all of whom have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for their role in failing to intervene as Chauvin murdered Mr. Floyd. Across the country, police brutality and the violent deaths of Black and Brown people at the hands of law enforcement have persisted in spite of last summer’s unified call from protestors and communities across the country for true accountability and an overhaul of our public safety system.
“Much more must be done to bring about the transformational change required to end police violence against communities of color and establish accountability and justice in public safety. To that end, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act must be passed with the provisions that would end qualified immunity for law enforcement officers, which has too often been used by officers to evade accountability for egregious misconduct. True justice for George Floyd – and the many more killed at the hands of law enforcement – calls for a public safety system that invests in its communities and holds those who do them harm truly accountable in every instance.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.