President Joe Biden declared former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin’s 22-year prison sentence “appropriate” as a punishment for the 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Chauvin’s sentence comes after more than a year of nationwide protests and riots in reaction to Floyd’s death. Footage of the interaction shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes, and a judge convicted Chauvin of three charges, including third degree murder, in April. Biden has since hosted the Floyd family at the White House, and told reporters Friday that he believes the sentence is “appropriate.”
“I don’t know all the circumstances that were considered but it seems to me, under the guidelines, that seems to be appropriate,” he said.
.@ABC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT: Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is sentenced in the murder of George Floyd.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 25, 2021
Prior to Floyd’s conviction, Biden said he was “praying” for the “right verdict,” in a statement some critics viewed as calling for Chauvin’s conviction.
“I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict,” Biden stated at the time. “I think it’s overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered.” (RELATED: White House Hosts Families Of George Floyd, Eric Garner In Police Reform Meeting)
Biden has vowed action on police reform, saying that the guilty verdict for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is far from enough.
While Biden has called for reforms, he has also criticized the radical wing of his party that called for abolishing or defunding the police in the wake of Floyd’s death last year. Leaked audio of a phone call with reform activists in December revealed him blaming Democratic losses in Congress partly on the anti-police rhetoric.
“That’s how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we’re talking about defunding the police. We’re not. We’re talking about holding them accountable,” Biden said according to the audio. (RELATED: Rising Violence Prompts Minneapolis City Officials To Consider Asking Nearby Officers For Support)
Chauvin’s appeals for a retrial were denied earlier this week.