The former Minneapolis Police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes last year was found guilty Tuesday of all three charges against him in one of the most consequential trials of the Black Lives Matter era.
Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The jurors deliberated for more than 10 hours over two days before coming to their decision.
Wearing a mask inside the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Chauvin had no apparent reaction to the guilty verdict.
Afterwards, his bail was revoked and he was placed in handcuffs and removed from the court through a side door.
He was taken to a facility in Stillwater, Minnesota, about 25 miles east of downtown Minneapolis, officials said.
Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter. Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend about 12.5 years in prison for each murder charge and about four years for the manslaughter charge.
In this case, the state has asked for a tougher sentence than the recommendations provide. Chauvin’s sentencing is set for eight weeks from now.
George Floyd’s family
George Floyd’s family says the verdict is a ‘victory for many’ but the fight for justice is not over.
George Floyd’s brothers shared their pain and grief with the world for nearly a year. On Tuesday, they finally felt some relief.
“Today, we are able to breathe again,” Philonise Floyd told reporters.
Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, led to what some describe as the largest protest movement in US history, and forced America to reckon with racial injustice and police accountability. All while his family joined a long list of relatives of Black men killed at the hands of police who have turned their pain into calls for accountability.
About a dozen of Floyd’s relatives, including his siblings, cousins and daughter Gianna gathered at a hotel a few blocks away from the Hennepin County Courthouse. Together, they prayed guided by the Rev. Al Sharpton and chanted Floyd’s name.They thanked the numerous activists who turned George Floyd’s name into a rallying cry and called the verdict “victory for many.”
Lawyers and Activists
Chris Stewart, one of the lawyers representing the family, said they teared up and embraced right after hearing the verdict.
“Today, the tears are of pure joy and pure shock because days like this don’t happen. The whole world shouldn’t have to rally to get justice for one man,” Stewart said.
Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who represents the families of Floyd and Daunte Wright, urged people across the country to see the verdict as a sign of hope for the future.
“America, let’s pause for a moment. Proclaim this historical moment, not just for the legacy of George Floyd but the legacy of America,” Crump said. “The legacy of trying to make America for all Americans.”
“Let this be the precedent where we overcome systematic racism and oppression,” Crump added.
George Floyd’s Girlfriend
Outside the courthouse, Floyd’s girlfriend Courteney Ross said she hopes the verdict will lead to further action in other police brutality cases.
“We’re finally starting to see. We walked around with eyes wide shut for a long time, so they’re starting to open today, and this is going to be the first in a future of change,” Ross said.
Report by CNN