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Derek Chauvin

Sentenced to 21 Years


Derek Chauvin

Public News Service

MINNEAPOLIS (PNS)—Former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison July 7 after he pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges in the killing of George Floyd.

The sentencing comes about seven months since he entered the guilty plea, admitting that he violated Floyd's rights when he knelt on his neck for nearly 10 minutes during an arrest in May 2020.

According to court documents, Chauvin will serve 21 years in prison on the federal charges. He already is serving 22½ years in prison after he was found guilty of second-and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter in April 2021 in Floyd's death. The sentencing is expected to be served concurrently.

The ex-cop originally plead not guilty to the federal charges in December 2021 only to later change his plea. By pleading guilty, he avoided another high-profile trial.

Three other officers involved in Floyd's death—Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao—were also convicted on federal charges in February of depriving Floyd of his civil rights. 

In addition, Kueng and Thao also were convicted for not intervening to stop Chauvin during his use of excessive force on Floyd. As of Thursday, sentencing dates for the two former cops have not yet been scheduled.

Kueng and Thao are facing a state trial that has been moved back numerous times, with it now set to begin in October. They face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. Lane entered a guilty plea to state charges consisting of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin also faces federal lawsuits filed against him and the city of Minneapolis for kneeling incidents that happened to civilians years before the killing of Floyd.

NAACP condemns acquittal of

Yanez in Philando Castile death


MINNEAPOLISThe Minneapolis NAACP unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms condemns the acquittal of Officer Jeronimo Yanez on all charges related to his killing Philando Castile during a traffic stop.

This decision clearly illustrates the implicit bias and systemic racism that permeates our legal system. It should be unthinkable that Yanez would entirely escape accountability for his reckless and unjustified homicide, but this is what we have come to expect. This is how our system works.

This verdict cannot and will not produce justice.

yanez castile.jpg

Officer Jeronimo Yanez and Philando Castile. Screenshot


Bias and shoddy decision-making have saturated this case from the beginning. Castile was stopped in the first place because Yanez saw his "wide-set nose," or in the words of expert witness Jeffrey Noble, "because he was a Black man." 


Though Castile's brake light was merely a pretext, defense attorneys repeatedly blamed Castile for his own death by saying he would still be alive if his light hadn’t been broken.

A juror who lied about sharing police advocacy posts was allowed to remain on the jury in spite of concerns expressed by prosecutors and the judge.

The defense relied on an expert witness who not only omitted crucial information on the stand, but also has an extensive track record of saying any and all police force is reasonable in numerous trials. The jury was prevented from hearing most of Yanez’s BCA interview that contradicted his crafted witness stand narrative.

In any system that values equity and justice, this should have been the most clear-cut guilty verdict possi- ble. Yanez racially profiled Castile, failed to follow protocol, panicked, and shot to kill.

Minnesota had a chance to deliver #Justice4Philando and instead Minnesota showed that Black lives, in fact, do not matter here, and that police have free rein to kill us.

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