Local residents, activists react to Derek Chauvin sentencing

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Black Lives Matter Philly core organizer Ismael Jiminez knew that former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin likely wouldn't get the minimum sentence for killing George Floyd.

He also knew that he likely wouldn't get the maximum. It was a waiting game to see how close the sentence got to either end as Jiminez watched the judge hand down his sentencing on Friday afternoon.

He was pleased with the 22-year sentence.

"I do think that was a significant amount of time based on the charge he was convicted of," said Jiminez.

People who gave their reaction to Action News agreed.

"He (Chauvin) deserved it. He should get more," said Deetra Williams as she walked past 30th Street Station.

The sentence is about double what sentencing guidelines would have suggested that Chauvin be sentenced.

But the sentence is also about eight years shy of what prosecutors wanted. They asked for a sentence of 30 years.

Temple Professor and Civil Rights Attorney Timothy Welbeck, Esq. says the judge's decision to go above the sentencing guidelines sends a message.

"It absolutely sends a message that killing someone in such a cruel and heinous fashion comes with consequences," he said.

The sentence was reflective of so-called aggravating factors that prosecutors say took the murder beyond a typical second-degree unintentional murder.

"The idea that Derek Chauvin was a police officer entrusted with ensuring public safety. That he abused that public trust and that he used a technique that not only violated his training but one that he knew would result in death or serious injury," Welbeck explained.

"My uncle's a cop, so I understand," said Maggie Kelly of New York City, "But ultimately, justice was served."

Chauvin's sentence caps off more than a year of protests across the country, including those organized by Black Lives Matter Philly.

"I think activism played a crucial role," said Jiminez. "Quite frankly, I don't think he would have gotten as much time if there wasn't such an outcry."

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Local residents and activists reacted to Derek Chauvin sentencing Friday.

Chauvin is expected to appeal, but he is also facing federal charges.

The three other officers in the case are expected to go to trial next year.

"I think you take a life, you should do life, so he should do at least 50," said Melissa DeMar of Port Richmond.

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