Derek Chauvin found guilty of murdering George Floyd


Courtesy of Creative Commons

A makeshift memorial and mural outside Cup Foods, where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer

On Tuesday afternoon, Derek Chauvin, an ex-Minneapolis police officer was found guilty on all charges by a jury in Hennepin County court. For three weeks, he was on trial for the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, which sparked the largest civil rights protests in decades, according to the New York Times.

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for holding his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds last Memorial Day, despite Floyd’s pleas of not being able to breathe.

Second-degree unintentional murder has a mandatory sentence of not more than 40 years in prison. Third-degree murder has a mandatory sentence of not more than 25 years in jail. Second-degree manslaughter carries a potential sentence of 10 years in prison and possibly a $20,000 fine, according to CNN.

According to the defense, Floyd, a Black man, put himself in danger by ingesting fentanyl and methamphetamine and then resisting arrest, which worsened his diseased heart to create enough reasonable doubt so that Chauvin, a white man, should be acquitted.

Chauvin’s bail was revoked by the court. The motion was approved by Judge Peter Cahill.

Cahill praised the jurors for their “heavy-duty” contributions in the case after hearing the jury’s verdicts. “I have to thank you on behalf of the people of the state of Minnesota, for not only jury service, but heavy-duty jury service,” he said.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office arrested Chauvin in the courthouse and took him into custody.

Attorney Ben Crump and George Floyd’s family released a statement that CNN obtained that reads, “Painfully earned justice has arrived for George Floyd’s family and the community here in Minneapolis, but today’s verdict goes far beyond this city and has significant implications for the country and even the world. Justice for Black America is justice for all of America. This case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state.”

The conviction does not bring an end to the politically charged case that recharged the Black Lives Matter campaign, as three other cops are scheduled to stand trial later this year on charges of murder and manslaughter related to Floyd’s death.

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation released a statement to CNN that read, “In these types of trials, the criminal justice system has historically failed Black families, further permeating and validating white supremacy within institutions. Today, however, there is a small incremental step toward accountability.”
“We hope this guilty verdict begins to show that white supremacy will not win,” read the statement. “White supremacy has no place in democracy, especially one that is supposed to guarantee us our freedom to live. But let us also be clear that this still does not bring our loved ones back.”

Cahill announced the next technical steps after reading and confirming the jury’s decision and said that Chauvin’s sentencing will be revealed in eight weeks.

According to CNN, Cahill said that the court would review Derek Chauvin’s written claims “within one week” and make factual conclusions. Then they’ll order a “returnable in four weeks” pre-sentencing investigation summary. Six weeks from today, there will be a briefing on the pre-sentencing review report.