Tampa students demand maximum sentencing for Derek Chauvin
Tampa, Fl – On May 25, students and community members of Tampa Bay rallied to demand Derek Chauvin receive maximum sentencing for his murder of George Floyd. The protest was held by Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) as a part of a national day of action to demand Chauvin get the sentencing appropriate for his crime.
Eithne Silva, member of SDS, stated, “We participated in this national day of action to demand that Derek Chauvin get a maximum sentence for the murder of George Floyd and that the other police officers who stood by and watched the murder get jailed for their complicity.”
The event was held in preparation for the sentencing of Chauvin, which is said to be sometime in June. There are multiple dates that have been presented for Chauvin’s sentencing, but the most recent one is said to be on June 16.
“The sentencing is being dragged out because the police hope that the people will forget so Chauvin can get a light sentence, so it's all the more important for us to continue having protests to put pressure on the police and the court to get true justice,” Silva stated.
Protesters also highlighted the fact that the chokehold that Chauvin used on Floyd is a common tactic of Israeli soldiers against Palestinians. Chauvin and other police officers often learn Zionist soldier tactics through conferences held in the U.S. or by traveling directly to occupied Palestine. Protesters demonstrated international solidarity with the people of occupied Palestine through chanting, “From Palestine to Chicago, occupation has got to go!”
The event also had community members who spoke about local cases of police crimes in Tampa.
Will Blake, member of Tampa Bay Community Action Committee (TBCAC) stated, “After numerous cases of police brutality, misconduct, and murders, our local officials like the mayor and state attorney have shown that they have no interest in holding officers accountable. This is why we need community control of the police, because our officials and police do not at all represent the Black, brown and working people of this city.”
SDS will continue to call for justice for George Floyd and all victims of police brutality. If the courts attempt to give Chauvin a light sentence, SDS will demand that he receives the sentence he deserves.
Silva stated, “It’s important for us to reiterate the people's demand for community control of the police and our own demand to defund our university police.”