December 9, 2022

US former police officer to be sentenced for George Floyd murder, United States News & Top Stories

MINNEAPOLIS (AFP) – Former policeman Derek Chauvin could be ordered behind bars for 30 years on Friday (June 25) when he is sentenced for the murder of African American George Floyd, a killing that sparked America’s biggest demonstrations for racial justice in decades.

Minnesota law provides for a minimum sentence of 12.5 years for the white, 45-year-old killer, who has been jailed since being convicted on three counts of murder and manslaughter two months ago.

But Judge Peter Cahill, who will hand down the sentence at 1.30pm in a Minneapolis court, identified aggravating circumstances that could signal a much heavier punishment.

He said Chauvin had “abused his position of trust and authority”, treated Mr Floyd with “particular cruelty” in front of minors and “committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least three other” officers.

Chauvin and three colleagues arrested Mr Floyd, 46, in May last year on suspicion of having passed a fake US$20 bill in a store in Minneapolis, a northern city of around 420,000.

They handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground in the middle of the street.

Chauvin then knelt on the back of Mr Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes, indifferent to the dying man’s groans and to the pleas of distraught passers-by.

The scene, filmed and uploaded by a young woman, quickly went viral.

After weeks of home confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people poured onto streets across the country and also overseas, to demand an end to racism and police brutality.

It took weeks for the mass demonstrations to taper off, but the debate around the pressing social issues remains vivid in the United States, where President Joe Biden has been slow to come up with the police reforms he promised during his campaign.

Late on Thursday, Republican and Democratic lawmakers announced that after weeks of negotiations, they had come up with “an agreement on a framework addressing the major issues for bipartisan police reform”.

“Over the next few weeks, we look forward to continuing our work toward getting a finalised proposal across the finish line,” the members of Congress said in a statement.

‘Good faith’

Chauvin’s trial was closely followed by millions across the country.

The former police officer, who was present for the full six weeks of his trial, did not testify.

His lawyer said he had followed police procedures in force at the time and that Mr Floyd’s death was due to health problems exacerbated by drug use.

The jurors were not convinced and took less than 10 hours to convict.

Their decision was greeted with a huge sigh of relief across the country. Many had feared an acquittal would lead to worse unrest, while others feared that once again a white police officer would get away with what they saw as murder.

Ahead of the sentencing, Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson pleaded that his client made “an error in good faith” and requested a reduced sentence to time already served, which would allow his client to be released immediately.

But the prosecution cited Chauvin’s “particularly cruel” conduct and called for the maximum of 30 years.

Whatever the decision, the defence will appeal the verdict, Mr Nelson has said, citing doubts over the impartiality of some jurors.

Neither will the case end with Chauvin: his three former colleagues will face trial in March 2022 on charges of complicity in homicide.

In parallel, the four men also face federal charges of violating Mr Floyd’s constitutional rights.

No date has yet been set for that trial.

in World
Related Posts

Police operation in France after reports of armed man on the run, Europe News & Top Stories

May 30, 2021

May 30, 2021

PARIS (REUTERS) – A large search operation involving elite forces and helicopters was under way in France’s southern Dordogne region...

Blinken says US and India united in tackling Covid-19, United States News & Top Stories

May 29, 2021

May 29, 2021

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday (May 28) the United States and India are...

Moderna says its Covid-19 vaccine found safe, effective in teens, United States News & Top Stories

May 25, 2021

May 25, 2021

CHICAGO (REUTERS) – Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine was shown to be effective in adolescents aged 12 to 17 and showed no...

Death rate soars as Canada’s British Columbia suffers ‘extreme heat’, World News & Top Stories

June 30, 2021

June 30, 2021

VANCOUVER (REUTERS) – The Canadian province of British Columbia suffered nearly double the average deaths as temperatures hit a record...

Eight in 10 adults in England estimated to have Covid antibodies, Europe News & Top Stories

June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – Eight in 10 adults in England now have antibodies protecting them against Covid-19 as the government forges...

Citing rise in hate crimes, Manhattan US Attorney forms new civil rights unit, United States News & Top Stories

November 20, 2021

November 20, 2021

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) – Citing a rise in hate attacks, Mr Damian Williams, the new United States attorney for the...

Iran confirms spying, propaganda charges against French detainee, Middle East News & Top Stories

May 30, 2021

May 30, 2021

TEHERAN (AFP) – Iranian prosecutors have confirmed a French man detained in the Islamic republic will be tried for espionage...

Biden welcomes new Israeli government, reaffirms security support, United States News & Top Stories

June 13, 2021

June 13, 2021

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US President Joe Biden said the United States remained committed to Israel’s security and would work with...

Photo appears to show Dubai’s Sheikha Latifa on trip abroad, Middle East News & Top Stories

June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021

DUBAI (AFP) – A picture purportedly showing Sheikha Latifa at Madrid’s airport emerged on Monday (June 21), the latest in...

Europe secures 55,000 doses of Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 drug hope, Europe News & Top Stories

June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) – The European Union has secured about 55,000 doses of a potential treatment for Covid-19 based on a...

G-7’s global tax plan: What is it about?, Europe News & Top Stories

June 5, 2021

June 5, 2021

PARIS (AFP) – Finance ministers from the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialised countries are going over groundbreaking global tax proposals...

Florida joins US states banning transgender girls from women’s sports, United States News & Top Stories

June 1, 2021

June 1, 2021

CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA (REUTERS) – Florida on Tuesday (June 1) became the latest and largest US state to ban transgender girls...

US keeps tariff threat alive for discriminatory taxes, watching inflation: Treasury Secretary Yellen, United States News & Top Stories

June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The United States is pursuing every avenue to ensure that countries suspend or roll back discriminatory digital...

Benjamin Netanyahu: Master politician fights to the end, Middle East News & Top Stories

May 30, 2021

May 30, 2021

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Benjamin Netanyahu, who edged closer on Sunday (May 30) to being toppled as Israel’s premier, has headed...

Delta variant accounts for 90% of Moscow’s new Covid-19 cases, says mayor, Europe News & Top Stories

June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021

MOSCOW (REUTERS, AFP) – Ninety per cent of newly detected Covid-19 cases in Moscow are being registered as the more...