The jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has reached a verdict of guilty on all counts after deliberating since last night
After three weeks of often heartbreaking testimony, a jury of seven women and five men have reached a verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last year. Chauvin was found guilty on all counts. The jury began deliberating last night and finished today with a total of about 11 hours spent on the decision.
Floyd’s tragic death last May at the hands of Chauvin touched off a summer of protests and outrage against police brutality and racial injustice. Video of his horrific final moments quickly went viral, showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes as the man begged for his life, saying over and over that he couldn’t breathe. The prosecution argued that it was Chauvin’s actions that led to Floyd’s death with the defense asserting that illegal drugs and a heart condition were to blame. The prosecution called a total of 38 witnesses including a teen who filmed the bystander video that got so much attention for Floyd’s death. The defense only called seven witnesses.
The second-degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, third-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 25 years, and second-degree manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 10 years.
Reacts to the news were quick — and the overwhelming feeling is one of relief.
VIDEO of members of the Congressional Black Caucus watching former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin be found guilty on all 3 counts for the death of George Floyd. pic.twitter.com/HBMGo6Dk0w
— Annie Grayer (@AnnieGrayerCNN) April 20, 2021
In light of all that’s come before, this guilty verdict is a big fucking deal. I didn’t believe this was the outcome until the second it was.
— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) April 20, 2021
Guilty. It does little to offer justice when a life has been cut short, but I hope it gives some peace and relief to George Floyd’s family and friends, and to those watching with heavy hearts around the world.
— not again ben (@NotAgainBen) April 20, 2021
"All three counts!" people chanted outside the courthouse in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges.
Lots of tears, hugs and chanting here. pic.twitter.com/BwmFuc5bQC
— Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs (@NickAtNews) April 20, 2021
Guilty. Let there be more change. Let there be more justice. Black Lives Matter.
— Mimi Imfurst (@MimiImfurst) April 20, 2021
Guilty on all counts, bail revoked, jailed until sentencing. You can see in his eyes that this miserable excuse for a human being cannot believe what just happened to him. Keep fighting, keep supporting those who fight for justice.
— Jason #maskup Carl (@vampiresnvino) April 20, 2021
🚨 BREAKING: The jury has found Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges.
While a guilty verdict will not bring George Floyd and other Black folks who have been murdered by the state back, we are sending love to his family in this moment.
More has to be done about policing.
— Black Voters Matter (@BlackVotersMtr) April 20, 2021
But many people were quick to point out that we never should’ve doubted this would be the result when there is actual video of the crime.
It says a lot about America that, even when there’s hi-def video of a cop murdering a Black person and the cop goes on trial for murder, we’re still shocked when he’s found guilty.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) April 20, 2021
We've known Chauvin was guilty since the second we saw him murder George Floyd on film — but we also know of the racism inherent in our carceral and policing systems.
This verdict doesn't change that racism, or the work ahead needed to transform those systems to serve us.
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) April 20, 2021
He was always guilty. He was always a murderer. The difference today is that the murderer will be held accountable for his brutal, brazen crimes.
That this is incredibly rare is an indictment of our country.
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) April 20, 2021
The system is still rigged. So don’t think this one outlier is a cause for celebration. Yes, a breath of relief. But, the entire system is guilty and will not get a thank you out of me.
— Kalen Allen (@TheKalenAllen) April 20, 2021
Ahead of the verdict, schools in the Minneapolis area went virtual for the rest of this week and businesses boarded up their windows, all in anticipation of potential violence and disruption. The courthouse had National Guard troops on patrol with the building surrounded by concrete barriers and razor wire.
The April 11 deadly police shooting during a traffic stop in nearby Brooklyn Center of a Black man, 20-year-old Daunte Wright, only served to fuel tensions further as the Chauvin trial continued.
Earlier today, President Biden expressed hope for the “right verdict” in the former cop’s trial. “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which I think it’s overwhelming in my view,” he said.