Derek Chauvin Found Guilty On All Counts In Killing George Floyd
Jubilation around the world as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 of murder in the death of George Floyd in a landmark trial that centered on police brutality and a summer of unrest over law enforcement’s treatment of people of color.
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. A protest that unified people of different races to fight for justice all around the world.
The Jurors heard from 45 witnesses over more than two weeks of arguments.
Late George Floyd
The 16-day trial of ended today with jurors consisting of six Whites, four Blacks, two who identify as biracial - and it took over 10 hours to return the verdict against Chauvin.
With the Nation and entire world on edge, Judge Peter Cahill read what the jury had rendered: Chauvin was guilty of second-degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter. He was guilty of all counts against him and immediately handcuffed and taken away from the courtroom.
Chauvin could could face up to 40 years in prison.
Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, was in the courtroom. Attendance was extremely limited due to coronavirus precautions.
"I was just praying they would find him guilty," Floyd told reporters after leaving the building. "As an African American, we usually never get justice.
"Today, we are able to breathe again," Philonise Floyd told reporters.
President Biden hailed the verdict, saying the nation should seize the chance to acknowledge and confront what he called systemic racism and racial disparities in law enforcement. “We can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen or occur again,” he said.
President Biden and VP Harris address nation regarding Derek Chauvin verdict | USA TODAY
Emotion overcomes the crowd outside the Hennepin Government Center after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Minneapolis reacts after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd.
Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama praised the verdict in a lengthy statement but pressed the need for continued progress on racial justice.
"True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. It requires us to recognize that many of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last. And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in," the Obamas said.
Philonise Floyd, attorney Ben Crump and the Rev. Al Sharpton react following the verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis.