Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said the prison sentence handed down Friday to Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd was a "moment of real accountability" in the ongoing national reckoning over policing.
"It's difficult to see anyone lose their freedom, but seeing somebody lose their life through torture over 9 1/2 minutes is incomparably worse," Ellison said.
The 270-month sentence given to Chauvin, who was found guilty of second-degree murder in Floyd's death, was one of the longest prison terms ever issued to a former police officer for the unlawful use of deadly force, Ellison noted.
"My hope is that he takes the time to learn something about the man whose life he took and about the movement that rose up to call for justice in the wake of George Floyd's torture and death," he added.
But Ellison said more still had to be done to restore people's trust in law enforcement.
He urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, implored police officials and prosecutors to ensure there is accountability in the criminal justice system and asked community members to continue pushing for change.
"This is what we need to do. What will happen if we don't do it?" Ellison asked. "We will slip deeper into our century-long cycle of inaction."