Derek Chauvin found guilty on all counts in death of George Floyd
Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter for killing George Floyd.
Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that touched off worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
Chauvin, 45, could be sent to prison for decades.
People elated by the verdict flooded the surrounding streets downtown upon hearing the news. Cars blared their horns, and people ran through traffic, waving banners.
Floyd, 46, died May 25 after being arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner market. He panicked, pleaded that he was claustrophobic and struggled with police when they tried to put him in a squad car. They put him on the ground instead.
The centerpiece of the case was the excruciating bystander video of Floyd gasping repeatedly, “I can’t breathe” and onlookers yelling at Chauvin to stop as the officer pressed his knee on or close to Floyd’s neck for what authorities say was 9 1/2 minutes. Floyd slowly went silent and limp.
Prosecutors played the footage at the earliest opportunity, during opening statements, with Jerry Blackwell telling the jury: “Believe your eyes.” And it was shown over and over, analyzed one frame at a time by witnesses on both sides.
In the wake of Floyd’s death, demonstrations and scattered violence broke out in Minneapolis, around the country and beyond. The furor also led to the removal of Confederate statues and other offensive symbols such as Aunt Jemima.
February 24, 2021 07:18 AM
Derek Chauvin pleads guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights; 3 other officers still face federal trialChauvin’s plea Wednesday means he will not face a federal trial in January, though he could end up spending more years behind bars when a judge sentences him at a later date.
Derek Chauvin, 45, wore an orange prison shirt when he appeared in federal court via videoconference from Minnesota’s maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights.
A Minnesota judge has ruled that there were aggravating factors in the death of George Floyd, paving the way for the possibility of a longer sentence for Derek Chauvin, according to an order made public Wednesday.
Prosecutors are asking a judge to give Derek Chauvin a more severe penalty than state guidelines call for when he is sentenced in June for George Floyd’s death, arguing that Floyd was particularly vulnerable and that Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer.
“I felt like it should have been 20 minutes,” Brandon Mitchell, 31, said of the deliberations, which led to Chauvin’s conviction on all counts.
Many were posting the release to highlight the distance between the initial police narrative and the evidence that led to the conviction Tuesday, including excruciating video shot by a teenage bystander of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck, even after Floyd had stopped moving.
Those changes mask a more complicated legislative legacy to a movement that many hoped would produce generational change: Other states have done little or nothing around police and racial justice reforms, and several have moved in the opposite direction.
“I felt he was guilty,” Lisa Christensen said on “CBS This Morning” in a story aired Thursday. “I didn’t know if it was going to be guilty on all counts, but I would have said guilty.”
“This may be the beginning of the restoration of believing that a justice system can work,” said civil rights leader Martin Luther King III, echoing a sentiment that many expressed Tuesday.
The sense of relief, of accountability served and crisis at least temporarily averted, was palpable across the United States on Tuesday after a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in killing George Floyd.