Sometimes, when we think things can’t get any worse, they do. Things got worse for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin received a 22-year prison sentence for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
This sentence is the result of Chauvin’s pinning George Floyd down on the ground, using his knee across the back of Floyd’s neck. Floyd died as a result. His death sent radical activists on a nationwide rampage of violence.
Floyd was a drug addict and a career criminal. However, Chauvin used horrible judgment in keeping him pinned to the ground despite Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe. A jury found Chauvin guilty, and he is set to serve the bulk of his remaining years on earth, behind bars.
But the George Floyd tragedy isn’t the only alleged “bad thing” Derek Chauvin did. In 2017, Chauvin allegedly held a 14-year-old boy by the throat. He also struck the child multiple times in the head with a flashlight.
Especially in light of the live video showing what happened to George Floyd, Derek Chauvin is one example of abusive law enforcement. He is the norm. The majority of police officers are dedicated public servants. They risk their lives every day to protect people.
The Derek Chauvin’s of the world are far and few between. There was a plea agreement in the civil case resulting from the incident with the minor child. In the plea agreement, Chauvin admits to holding his knee against the juvenile’s neck, shoulders, and upper back.
His statement estimates that he did this for between 15 and 16 minutes. The juvenile was face-down on the floor, handcuffed, and did not resist arrest. Chauvin also admitted that his actions were responsible for the injuries the juvenile endured.
As a result of the civil rights charges from George Floyd’s death and the allegations resulting from the juvenile arrest, Chauvin received an additional 20-year sentence. Derek Chauvin must live with who he is as a person and what he has done while wearing a badge.
But his disregard for dignity and integrity, something inherent in virtually every police officer, will have lasting consequences. Because of his abusive acts, thousands of law enforcement officers have been falsely attacked. Derek Chauvin did more than use poor judgment.
He violated the public’s trust in our police officers. The justice system has applied the penalty for his crimes. But America needs to realize that Derek Chauvin is not the norm. He is an outlier. Derek Chauvin is unrepresentative of the brave people who pledge to “serve and protect”.