Bass: 'Maximum' sentence 'absolutely needed' in George Floyd death

Bass: 'Maximum' sentence 'absolutely needed' in George Floyd death
© Greg Nash

Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThousands sent to emergency rooms every year due to violent police encounters: investigation Democrats fear they are running out of time on Biden agenda White House says Biden crime address won't undercut police reform bill MORE (D-Calif.) said on Sunday that the "maximum" sentence is "absolutely needed" after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of two counts of murder and one count of manslaugher in George Floyd's death. 

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Bass told host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosSullivan: Comments by North Korea's Kim an 'interesting signal' Facebook VP says 2-year suspension of Trump from platform 'justified' Commerce secretary on cyberattacks against corporations: 'This is the reality' MORE that she felt “relieved” after hearing the verdicts on Tuesday.

I was definitely relieved. I was relieved when it happened and it was guilty on all counts," Bass said.

“[W]hen we have seen the occasional guilty verdict, it is rarely followed by the maximum sentence," she added. "And considering the egregious nature of the torturing, the death of George Floyd, a maximum sentence, I think, is absolutely needed.” 

Stephanopoulus also asked Bass about police reform, which President BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE is expected to discuss this week, noting that observers say "you can't just focus on police reform, you have to invest in entire communities." 

"I absolutely agree with that. And as a matter of fact, what we have done over the years is we have divested from communities. We've cut health care. We've cut social services. And then when there are problems that result, we expect the police to pick up the pieces,” Bass said.

“So, one of the most glaring examples is with mental illness in our country. We don't treat mental illness properly and the people -- people -- people get -- go into a crisis, you wind up calling the police and the individual gets killed. Why do we do that? Why do we incarcerate people who are mentally ill? Why don't we treat them, provide them health care and services upfront so they don't deteriorate into a crisis?” she asked.