Kamis, 22 April 2021

Revealed: Inside George Floyd killer’s high security prison -

Former police officer Derek Chauvin has started his miserable new life in Minnesota’s only maximum security prison after being found guilty of George Floyd’s murder yesterday.

The jury deliberated for about 10 hours before convicting Chauvin on all three counts: second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.

Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for almost 10 minutes in May of last year.

He maintained the position despite Mr Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe.

Chauvin’s charges come with maximum sentences of 40, 25 and 10 years, respectively.

But Chauvin, who had no previous criminal record, will not be imprisoned for that long. Under Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, the presumptive sentence for both murder charges is 12.5 years, and four years for manslaughter.

The judge is given some discretion to deviate from those guidelines, and in this case the prosecution has indicated it will argue for “aggravating circumstances”, which could justify a harsher sentence.

Such circumstances could include Chauvin treating Mr Floyd with particular cruelty and abusing his power as a police officer.

He is expected to be sentenced in mid-June.

RELATED: ‘The only reason’ Chauvin was convicted

Chauvin had been on bail, but was taken away in handcuffs after being found guilty yesterday.

He was then taken to the Minnesota Correctional Facility, located in Oak Park Heights.

Chauvin has been placed in the Administrative Control Unit (ACU), the most secure unit available in Minnesota, which is separated from the prison’s general population.

“He is on administrative segregation status for his safety,” said Sarah Fitzgerald, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Corrections.

“Administrative segregation is used when someone’s presence in the general population is a safety concern.”

Chauvin will be isolated in his cell for 23 hours each day, and allowed a single hour for exercise.

The small cells contain a mattress, a shower, and a combined toilet and sink. They are all monitored by cameras, with guards making rounds every half-hour.

In addition to being used to protect the safety of prisoners, the ACU is also used as a punishment for some inmates.

At a media conference last night, the lawyer representing the Floyd family called Chauvin’s murder conviction “painfully earned justice”.

“Today’s verdict goes far beyond this city and has significant implications for the country, and even the world,” Ben Crump said.

“Justice for black America is justice for all of America. This case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement, and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state.”

A tearful Philonise Floyd – George’s brother – said he always had “faith” that Chauvin would be convicted.

“I feel relieved today that I finally have the opportunity to hopefully get some sleep,” he said.

“Today you have cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother. It was a motion picture. The world saw his life being extinguished. And I could do nothing but watch, in that courtroom over and over again, as my brother was getting murdered.

“We have to always understand that we have to march. We will have to do this for life. We have to protest. Because it seems like this is a never-ending cycle,” he said.

“I’m going to put up a fight every day. Because I’m not just fighting for George anymore, I’m fighting for everyone around this world.

“We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere.”

Addressing Americans about two hours after the verdict, President Joe Biden praised the Floyd family for its “extraordinary courage” and described the result as “a step forward” in his country’s struggle with racism.

“It was a murder in full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism (which is) a stain on our nation’s soul,” Mr Biden said.

“Nothing can ever bring their father, their brother back. But this can be a giant step forward in the march towards justice in America.”

He noted the unique circumstances of the case, with the murder caught on camera.

“Such a verdict is much too rare,” said the President.

“For so many people, it seems like it took a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors: a smart young woman with a camera, a crowd that was traumatised, a murder that lasted almost 10 minutes in broad daylight, officers standing up and testifying against a fellow officer instead of closing ranks.

“For so many, it feels like it took all of that for the judicial system to deliver basic accountability.

“As we saw in this trial from the fellow police officers who testified, most men and women who wear the badge serve their communities honourably, but those few who fail to meet that standard must be held accountable. No one should be above the law, and today’s verdict sends that message, but it’s not enough. We can’t stop here.

“We can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will happen again.”

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2021-04-21 23:01:16Z

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