PODCAST: Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22.5 years in prison (BCNN1 6.25.21)

This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to the Daily Mail, Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd. Judge Peter Cahill handed down the sentence of 270 months – the longest an officer has ever received for unlawful use of deadly force – on Friday and granted Chauvin 199 days already served. He will likely serve just 15 years and could be released on good behavior once he’s eligible for parole, which many demonstrators chanting outside the Minneapolis courtroom say isn’t enough. ‘This is based on your abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd,’ Judge Cahill said to the disgraced former cop. ‘I’m not basing my sentencing on public opinion, I’m not basing it on any attempt to send any messages.’ Cahill also addressed Floyd’s family, who had spoken out in emotional victim impact statements, telling them, ‘I acknowledge and hear the pain that you’re feeling.’ In addition to jail time, Chauvin is also prohibited from possessing a gun, ammunition, or explosives for the remainder of his life and is required also register as a predatory offender. As a first-time offender, Chauvin had potentially faced 12 and a half years in prison, and the most serious charge that Chauvin was convicted of – second-degree murder – carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. The former Minneapolis officer, dressed today in a gray suit and tie with a buzz cut, was found guilty in April on all three counts – second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter – for kneeling on 46-year-old Floyd’s neck for nine minutes in May 2020. In his sentencing memo, Judge Cahill wrote: ‘Mr. Chauvin, rather than pursuing the MPD mission, treated Mr. Floyd without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings and which he certainly would have extended to a friend or neighbor.’ The sentencing came after Chauvin spoke briefly to offer the Floyd family his condolences. Chauvin said he could not give a full statement because of additional legal matters, but said, ‘There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest. And I hope things will give you some peace of mind. Thank you.’ There are still two federal indictments pending against Chauvin – one for violating Floyd’s civil rights during the arrest that led to his death and one for assaulting a 14-year-old with a flashlight.

According to the Associated Press, A wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed with a roar in a town outside Miami early Thursday, killing at least one person and trapping residents in rubble and twisted metal. Rescuers pulled dozens of survivors from the tower during the morning and continued to look for more. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett warned that the death toll was likely to rise, saying the building manager told him the tower was quite full at the time of the collapse around 1:30 a.m., but the exact number of people present was unclear. “The building is literally pancaked,” Burkett said. “That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean, to me, that we are going to be as successful as we wanted to be in finding people alive.” Authorities did not say what may have caused the collapse. Work was being done on the building’s roof, but Burkett said he did not see how that could have been the cause. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said she got a call from President Joe Biden, who offered federal aid. Hotels opened to some of the displaced residents, she said, and deliveries of food, medicine and more were being hastily arranged. Rescue officials tried to determine how many people might be missing and asked residents to check in with them. About half of the building’s roughly 130 units were affected, the mayor told a news conference. Rescuers pulled at least 35 people from the wreckage by mid-morning, and heavy equipment was being brought in to help stabilize the structure to give them more access, Raide Jadallah of Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue said. Fifty-one people who were thought to be in the building at the time of the collapse were unaccounted for by mid-morning — but there was a possibility that some weren’t at home, said Sally Heyman, of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners.

According to Religion News Service, Kirbyjon Caldwell, the former United Methodist megachurch pastor and presidential adviser who was found guilty of being involved in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme, has begun his six-year prison sentence. Caldwell, who had been scheduled to arrive in prison on Tuesday (June 22), is listed on the Bureau of Prisons website as an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution, Beaumont, a low security facility in Eastern Texas with more than 1,500 inmates. Caldwell, 67, was sentenced in January but the judge deferred his report date by about five months. At the time of sentencing, the former pastor’s lawyer requested that Caldwell serve his time in home confinement because his client was at high risk for COVID-19 complications because of his hypertension and prostate cancer. The former senior pastor of Houston’s Windsor Village United Methodist Church appeared at Washington National Cathedral inaugural prayer services for President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush. Caldwell was among key faith leaders Obama turned to for prayer and discussions about politics and religion. And Caldwell even officiated the wedding of Jenna Bush and called her father “Brother President.” Caldwell, who earned a master’s degree from the Wharton School of Business, was known for his affinity for both business and religion and had been called the “Minister of ‘Good Success.’” But in 2018, he and Louisiana financial adviser Gregory Alan Smith were indicted by federal officials after selling $3.5 million in bonds. Those bonds, which have no value, were issued by the Republic of China before the Communist takeover in 1949, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Louisiana. “This defendant used his status as the pastor of a mega-church to help convince the many victim investors that they were making a legitimate investment but instead he took their hard-earned money from them and used it for his own personal gain,” said acting U.S. Attorney Van Hook in a Jan. 13 statement when Caldwell was sentenced. In addition to his prison sentence, the former senior pastor was ordered to pay restitution totaling $3,588,500, along with a fine of $125,000. On Wednesday, Caldwell was still listed on the Windsor Village United Methodist Church’s website as “lay preacher.” His wife, Pastor Suzette Caldwell, who is listed as associate pastor, was appointed to lead the 18,000-member congregation as its interim senior pastor after he surrendered his credentials.

According to the Kansas City Star, Michael Griswold, teen pastor at Macedonia Baptist Church in Kansas City, died of COVID-19 earlier this month after being hospitalized since January. He was 39 years old. With his magnetic personality — and bright blue eyeglasses — Griswold was credited with bringing kids into the church by the hundreds. His unconventional preaching drew in youth, church leaders said. But so too did his way with people — what some called the “it” factor. Senior Pastor John L. Brooks said Griswold, or “Grizzy,” was the Michael Jordan of his calling. “Grizzy’s impact was so magnanimous that I’m telling you 20 years from now, this church will remember Grizzy,” Brooks said. “I’m telling you, older people and younger people.” Whether it was from his post at the church at 1700 Linwood Boulevard, or wherever he went, Griswold liked cheering people up. Anyone crossing his path with their head down could hear him say: “Hold your head up like your nose is bleeding.” He dedicated himself to the community and during the pandemic he stayed in contact with church members. In early January, he fell ill with the coronavirus. He died the afternoon of June 6 after being hospitalized for about five months.

According to Reuters, Some 41 million people worldwide are at at imminent risk of famine, the United Nations World Food Programme warned on Tuesday, saying soaring prices for basic foods were compounding existing pressures on food security. Another half a million are already experiencing famine-like conditions, said the WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley. “We now have four countries where famine-like conditions are present. Meanwhile 41 million people are literally knocking on famine’s door,” he said. The WFP, which is funded entirely by voluntary donations, said it needs to raise $6 billion immediately to reach those at risk, in 43 countries. “We need funding and we need it now,” said Beasley. After declining for several decades, world hunger has been on the rise since 2016, driven by conflict and climate change. In 2019, 27 million people were on the brink of famine, according to the WFP, but since 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic has been added to the mix. World food prices rose in May to their highest levels in a decade, U.N. figures show, with basics like cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar up a combined 40% versus year ago levels.

According to HuffPost, A statue honoring George Floyd in Brooklyn was vandalized with black spray paint and the name of a white supremacist group, Patriot Front, on Thursday morning. The statue’s unveiling took place less than a week ago on Juneteenth, with Floyd’s brother Terence in attendance. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force said it was investigating the incident, which took place between 3 and 5 a.m., but a spokesperson said, “There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.” Terence Floyd told HuffPost that the defacement “is a perfect example of why we are so diligent in promoting change.” Patriot Front has claimed responsibility for vandalizing a mural commemorating Floyd in Philadelphia. In a statement posted to Twitter, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Last night a far-right extremist group vandalized a statue of George Floyd in Brooklyn. A racist, loathsome, despicable act of hate. The City Cleanup Corps is repairing the statue right now and a hate crime investigation is underway. We will bring these cowards to justice.”

According to Daily Mail, Joe Biden on Tuesday night accused Republicans of ‘the suppression of a bill to end voter suppression’ after a Senate test vote to debate voting rights legislation failed. All 50 Democrats voted in favor, including key swings Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. And all 50 Republicans voted against beginning debate on a revised ‘For the People Act.’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the proposal, calling it a ‘transparently partisan’ effort that shows the left’s ‘disdain’ for Americans. Kamala Harris insisted that the fight was not over, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Republicans of having ‘poisoned our democracy’. ‘A Democratic stand to protect our democracy met a solid Republican wall of opposition,’ Biden said. ‘Senate Republicans opposed even a debate — even considering — legislation to protect the right to vote and our democracy.’

You can read these stories and more at BlackChristianNews.com .

In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!

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