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Pittsburgh Activist Reflects On Derek Chauvin Receiving 22.5 Years For Killing George Floyd

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A Pittsburgh activist said the push for police reform will continue after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced Friday.

"He deserved whatever was on the books to give him," Tim Stevens, chairman and CEO of the Black Political Empowerment Project, said.

Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

"He will have 22 1/5 years to think about what he did for 9 minutes and 29 seconds," Stevens said.

A video of Floyd's death sparked protests and riots; and a conversation about systemic racism and police brutality.

"Whatever the years were that the judge gave Derek Chauvin were not going to bring back the life of George Floyd but as his daughter said, he has made a difference. He's made a difference in America, he's made a difference in the world," Stevens said.

Stevens has been pushing for police reform for decades, he hopes police officers across the nation learned something from this case.

"Those of us who are activists in the Pittsburgh region are hopeful that what happened on May 25, 2020, will be a teachable moment for all police officers," Stevens said.

Stevens said the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and Public Safety officials have been working toward improving police-community relations in the city. He said they work closely with B-PEP and its partners.

"I can say that I think Chief (Scott) Schubert and his staff, sister (Lavonnie) Bickerstaff assistant chief, Wendell Hissrich public safety director, are definitely trying to move the Pittsburgh Police Department to a new level of interaction with the community," Stevens said.

Chauvin's sentence does not close this chapter in history, many activists are just getting started.

"There is movement, there is action, not enough, it's never enough. But there is movement and those who are frustrated, I want them to know there is movement and people like me will not go away," Stevens said.

Stevens meets with Schubert every six weeks to discuss police reform. They review commitments that Mayor Bill Peduto made to B-PEP regarding police reform. The next meeting is Thursday.


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