Tallahassee residents react to Chauvin sentencing

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 10:47 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Friday, a Minnesota judge sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.

His death sparked nationwide protests and a global reckoning on racial justice last summer.

The sentencing is a day that a lot of people around the country have been looking forward to, including here in Tallahassee, after there were protests for 11 days straight following Floyd’s death last year.

Those protests sparked cries for justice for Floyd which some feel were answered after Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter on April 20.

Many here in Tallahassee were glued to the TV Friday afternoon as the judge read Chauvin’s sentence.

Local groups like The Movement 850 said they were concerned Chauvin might just receive a slap on the wrist but are pleased with the 22 and a half year sentence decided on a day they never thought would come.

“This dream has been long-standing for so long,” said Octavia Thomas with The Movement 850. “For so many mothers and fathers of the movement. For so many years people just simply wanted to feel heard.”

Thomas said she believes the results are a culmination of the continuous protests and work of organizations around the country, including in Tallahassee, and she is proud of what the community was able to accomplish.

Thomas believes Chauvin’s sentencing is the step in the right direction but said this is the beginning of a long road of change that still needs to be done.

The three other ex-officers charged in Floyd’s death will face trial in March of 2022.

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