George Floyd’s Family Says Chauvin’s Sentencing Is ‘One Step Closer To Healing’

George Floyd’s Family Says Chauvin’s Sentencing Is ‘One Step Closer To Healing’

The family of George Floyd and their attorneys said Friday that the sentencing of Derek Chauvin offers closure, accountability — and a step toward healing for both the family and the nation.

They also demanded political action for lasting change.

Derek Chauvin Is Sentenced To 22 1/2 Years For George Floyd's Murder

“For once, a police officer who wrongly took the life of a Black man was held to account. While this shouldn’t be exceptional, tragically it is. 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,” said the family’s statement, released by civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

Chauvin, a former Minneapolis Police officer, was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison on Friday for the murder of George Floyd last year.

The family says they now wish to see Chauvin convicted on the federal charges pending against him, and that the other three officers charged will “face consequences for their actions.”

The statement also struck a note of progress.

READ: The Derek Chauvin Sentencing Decision

“It’s important to acknowledge how far we’ve come. Those who raised their voices to demand justice for George Floyd need to know that their activism made a difference,” the family said.

They pointed not only to Chauvin’s conviction and sentencing, but to reforms made around the country, including restrictions on chokeholds and improved training and protocols.

But they don’t want the change to end there.

“We need this sentence to usher in a new era of accountability that transforms how Black people are treated by police. To achieve that,” they said, “we need the U.S. Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act without further delay.”

Lawmakers Reach A Bipartisan Agreement On Police Reform

The U.S. House, led by Democrats, passed the measure in early March. Senators announced preliminary, bipartisan agreement on police reform Thursday night, though specifics of the plan were not immediately clear.

President Biden had hoped Congress would pass the reform effort by the first anniversary of Floyd’s death.