SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - NewsChannel 3-12 spoke with the president of the Santa Maria-Lompoc branch of the NAACP following Friday's sentencing of former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, for the murder of George Floyd.
The sentencing hearing happened 13 months to the day of Floyd's public and videotaped death.
Local NAACP President Lawanda Lyons-Pruitt admitted that many people across the country and locally had hoped for a harsher sentence.
"We may be disappointed with the verdict and feel like he should've gotten life in prison," said Lyons-Pruitt via Zoom.
The Trial Court Judge sentenced the former officer to 22 and half years.
"We're gonna respect the judge's decision because on the other hand, people were holding their breath and they were afraid that it would be another police officer that would get away with murder. So, we will certainly accept this sentencing."
Lyons-Pruitt said Chauvin will be held in isolation "in order to survive."
Following Friday's sentencing, multiple legal experts on various networks speculated that the amount of time Chauvin actually spends behind prison bars could be 15 years.
Lyons-Pruitt said the NAACP will move forward in the push for police reform to hold "rogue" police officers responsible for actions that are against department policy and against the law.
"We continue to push for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Bill, to make changes to the way policing is done so that police officers can be held accountable."