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What's Happened In The 13 Months Since George Floyd's Death

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd's neck for 9 1/2 minutes. Now he is sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison. It's a rare sentence in the kind of case that has, for many, come to feel too common.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

During this afternoon's sentencing, members of Floyd's family addressed the court and Chauvin. Here's Floyd's brother Terrence.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TERRENCE FLOYD: What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother's neck?

CHANG: Last year, a video of Floyd's final moments galvanized protests against racial injustice and against killings of unarmed Black people.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER #1: (Chanting) Hands up. Don't shoot.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: Cries of Black Lives Matter and hands up, don't shoot...

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Hands up. Don't shoot.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: ...Echoing from coast to coast.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER #2: George.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #2: The death of George Floyd may have sparked these nationwide protests, but it is by no means the only reason for them.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER #2: Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: George.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER #2: Floyd.

CHANG: The original video, captured by bystander Darnella Frazier, also became a centerpiece of Chauvin's murder trial in Minneapolis. Police Chief Medaria Arradondo was among those who testified as to why Chauvin should be held accountable.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MEDARIA ARRADONDO: To continue to apply that level of force to a person proned-out (ph), handcuffed behind their back, that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy, it is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values.

CHANG: Defense attorney Eric Nelson argued that Chauvin did what any officer would do.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ERIC NELSON: A reasonable police officer would, in fact, take into consideration the previous 16 minutes and 59 seconds, their experience with the subject, the struggle that they had. It all comes into play. Why? Because human behavior is unpredictable.

CORNISH: Jury members were not swayed. On April 20, they delivered a verdict read by Judge Peter Cahill.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PETER CAHILL: We the jury, in the above-entitled matter, as to count one, find the defendant guilty.

CORNISH: Guilty on three counts. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.