Derek Chauvin Found Guilty In Killing Of George Floyd
By Lauren Crawford
April 20, 2021
Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of killing George Floyd.
On Tuesday (April 20), the 12-person jury announced that Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was filmed placing his knee on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes, would be convicted of all three charges against him: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. His conviction marks the second known time a police officer has been convicted of murder in Minnesota, and the first time a white officer who killed a Black man has been convicted.
The jury asked no questions of the court during the deliberation process and reportedly took just over 10 hours to come to a unanimous decision.
On May 25, 2020, Chauvin was filmed kneeling on George Floyd's neck for over nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed, lying face down on the street calling out "I can't breathe." The incident occurred during Floyd's arrest, which was made by Chauvin and three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao. Floyd's death sparked protests around the world as millions called for justice not only in his case but also for the countless other black Americans who have been killed by police.
Tuesday's decision came after the jury sat through the testimony of seven witnesses for the defense and 38 for the prosecution. During the trial, the jury heard testimony from eyewitnesses, Minneapolis police officers, city officials, Floyd's family members, and medical experts. Chauvin ultimately elected not to exercise his right to testify, choosing to invoke the Fifth Amendment on the 14th day of trial.
The jury, including two alternates, consisted of two white men, six white women, three black men, one black woman, and two mixed-race women. The majority of jury members were younger than 50 with the youngest in their 20s and the oldest in their 60s.
Juror deliberations began on Monday (April 19) as the Minneapolis area continued to reel from its latest police-involved death, the police shooting of Daunte Wright. On April 11, former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter shot and killed Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop. Following the shooting, Police said that Potter meant to use her Taser but "accidentally" grabbed her gun instead. She was later charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Photo: Hennepin County