The former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison on Friday for the murder of George Floyd. While many were satisfied with this sentence, CNN host Van Jones described it as a “punch in the gut.”
After saying that with good behavior, Chauvin is likely to serve closer to fifteen years in prison, CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said, “Justice is imperfect. This is a serious sentence. Derek Chauvin will be in prison for 15 years. He’s 45 now until he’s 60. That said, I think this is light. I think the judge should’ve sentenced him more. Minnesota guidelines say you can double the 15 years if there is one aggravator. This judge found four aggravators and didn’t really come super close to doubling it.”
“Very disappointing, very disappointing 15 years, I know people doing 15 years for victimless crimes of drug possession,” Jones replied, according to Yahoo News. “Very disappointing the level of any one of those aggravators. What this man did, it should’ve been the maximum of the maximum. This is disappointing. I don’t think it’s going to cause outrage. But it’s a punch in the gut. This guy’s life is worth more than 15 years. It was. What that officer did is worth more than 15 years. Law enforcement across the country should look at something like this and say, look, you can’t do this type of stuff. You’re never going to come back home. It’s disappointing.”
Honig then pointed out that there were two federal indictments still pending against Chauvin, to which Jones said, “The feds can come in and do more, and they should do more because this is not justice.”
However, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison stood by the sentence, saying that it was “one of the longest a former police officer has ever received” for use of deadly force and adding that this is “not justice, but it is another moment of real accountability on the road to justice.” President Joe Biden also spoke out to say that the sentence seemed “to be appropriate” in his mind.