Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with murdering George Floyd after knelt on his neck for over 9 minutes, has been found guilty by a Minneapolis jury.
Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd on Tuesday, April 20, a finding that could land the disgraced former Minneapolis cop in jail for the rest of his life.
Chauvin was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree homicide, by the judge. When he is sentenced in eight weeks, he could face up to 75 years in jail.
The mandatory punishment for second-degree murder is 40 years in prison. The mandatory punishment for third-degree murder is 25 years in prison. Second-degree manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.
The charge of third-degree murder had been dropped at first, but it was restored days before jury selection began after an appeals court decision in a separate case provided new grounds for it.
The trial’s jury selection began on March 9 and the opening statements began on March 29. After three weeks of witness testimony, the jury of seven women and five men started deliberating Monday evening, April 19.
Prosecutors called 38 witnesses, including the adolescent who shot the viral video that made Floyd’s death famous around the world. She and other witnesses testified that Floyd’s death haunts them and that they wish they could have done more to save his life. Seven witnesses were called by the prosecution, two of whom were experts.
Derek Chauvin has been remanded in the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. He was directed out of the courthouse in handcuffs moments after the guilty verdict was read in his murder case.
A crowd shouted joyfully outside the Minneapolis courthouse where Judge Peter Cahill declared a guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin’s murder case.
When the news broke, the audience chanted, “Guilty!” There have been roaring applause and shouts of “Yes!”
In the courthouse, people were shouting and weeping.
“Who will be victorious? Our triumph “The crowd has started chanting. Cars passing by honked their horns in appreciation as well.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that protesting doesn’t work,” a man said over a bullhorn to the crowd.
Following the arrest of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the lawyers for George Floyd’s family have issued statements.
Ben Crump, an attorney, had this to say: “George Floyd’s family and the community in Minneapolis have finally received well-deserved justice, but today’s decision has far-reaching consequences for the country and even the world. Justice for Black America is justice for all in the United States. This case marks a watershed moment in American law enforcement transparency, sending a strong message that we hope is heard loud and clear in every city and state.”
“Today’s decision is important because it not only keeps Derek Chauvin responsible for his heinous acts, but it also reinforces significant police reforms in Minneapolis, such as use-of-force reporting, a mandate for officers to wear body cameras at all times, and a policy for officers to disengage or walk away from non-threatening interactions. Now we’re urging Minnesota lawmakers to vote, “Antonio M. Romanucci, an attorney, said
L. Chris Stewart, an attorney, stated: “The world’s hope and trust in the American justice system were restored today. When a police officer kills a Black American, what people want is transparency. That had never happened in far too long. Finally, George Floyd’s soul will rest in peace. The law has been upheld.”
Similarly, attorney Jeff Storms stated: “The effect of George Floyd’s death on Minneapolis is difficult to quantify, but today’s decision is a significant step forward in the healing process. The nation has failed to hold officers accountable for using excessive force over a long period of time, taking so many lives and causing too much pain and suffering. This jury has sent a strong warning that anything like this will never happen again.”