“You Can Believe Your Eyes”Justice for George
Ex-officer Derek Chauvin is Guilty of second-degree murder, Guilty-third-degree murder, Guilty-second-degree manslaughter
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts of murdering George Floyd, a Black man, last Memorial Day. In an emotional trial that lasted three weeks, it took 12 jurors - six white and six of mixed racial backgrounds- just two days of closed door deliberation to find Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin faces a potential 75 years in prison. Thousands of people standing outside the Minneapolis courtroom and at Cup Foods, the South Minneapolis location where Floyd, 46, was murdered, chanted “Justice, and “Black Lives Mater,” after the verdict was announced.
Including in the compelling evidence against Chauvin was a video taken by a bystander showing Chauvin pressing his knee to Floyds’ neck for 9 and a half minutes, resulting in Floyd’s death. Immediately after the video went viral, in which Floyd can be heard pleading, “I can’t breathe,” protests erupted across the nation demanding racial justice and substantial police reform.
After reading the jury's verdicts, Judge Peter Cahill thanked the jurors for what he called "heavy duty" service in the case. "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.
Immediately after the verdict was announced Chauvin’s bail was revoked and he was led away in handcuffs. Three other former Minneapolis officers charged with aiding and abetting murder in Floyd’s death will stand trial in August.
Attorney Ben Crump and George Floyd's family, which received a $27 million settlement from the city of Minneapolis, released the following statement after the conviction of Derek Chauvin:
“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. We thank Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and his team for their fierce dedication to justice for George. But it does not end here. We have not forgotten that the other three officers who played their own roles in the death of George Floyd must still be held accountable for their actions, as well.”
Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody after the verdicts were
read at Chauvin's trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in
Minneapolis, Minn. (Source: Court TV)
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, co-founder of the Illinois Black Panthers in the 1960s, called the Chauvin guilty verdict the first acknowledgment of illegal police conduct. "We still have a long way to go to ensure that every American has a guaranteed right to equal justice under the law — if America is indeed a nation built on equal justice under the law."