Derek Chauvin found guilty on all counts in murder and manslaughter of George Floyd. Faces up to 75 years prison at future sentencing. A nation sighs in relief in face of racial injustice and police brutality.
A nation has been kept at bay at all out potential upheaval. Derek Chauvin rogue Minneapolis cop who was filmed on video choking black man, George Floyd until he was unresponsive and cold to the touch along a city street during the man’s arrest has been found guilty of all three charges — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. As per Minnesota state law, Chauvin will be sentenced at a later date.
The unanimous verdict comes as jurors deliberated for more than 10 hours over two days before revealing Chauvin’s fate and averting what many feared could end up leading to widespread rioting and protests had the Minneapolis police officer not been what many decried ‘justice’ for Floyd and his family.
The 12-member jury consisted of three black men, one black woman, two white men, four white women, and two women who identify as interracial.
The judge asked each juror if the verdict was correct, thanked them before dismissing them. ‘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,’ Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said.
He revoked bail and told Chauvin, 45, to report back in eight weeks for sentencing. Chauvin, silent and wearing a gray suit and a light blue surgical mask, was handcuffed and taken into custody.
JUSTICE for George! The emotions I feel right now are hard to describe. Derek Chauvin has been found guilty. This is the first time that a white officer has been convicted for killing a black man in Minnesota. This is monumental, George’s death is not in vein. pic.twitter.com/m6FrqdGljP
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) April 20, 2021
Police brutality and racial injustice continue to be reckoning points
Chauvin, who is white, was seen on video pinning George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, to the ground with his knee last Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, for over nine minutes after police responded to a report that Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill.
Cell phone video of the incident went viral and touched off months of protests condemning police brutality and calling for racial justice. The widely watched trial, which began in March with jury selection, was live streamed – Minnesota’s first criminal case to be televised.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that Chauvin’s knee – pressed against Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed and face-down on the street – led to his death by loss of oxygen. The defense argued underlying heart issues and the methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system caused Floyd’s death while he struggled with police.
The prosecution rested its case last week after calling 38 witnesses and playing dozens of video clips over the course of 11 days. The defense rested Thursday after calling seven witnesses over two days. Attorneys for both sides presented their closing arguments Monday.
Crowds gathered at George Floyd square in Minneapolis and outside the courthouse chanted “All three counts!” and applauded and wept after Derek Chauvin was convicted on all charges in the murder trial of #GeorgeFloyd. pic.twitter.com/dhbNbexfIO
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 20, 2021
‘He knew better. He just didn’t do better. This was not an accident.’
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher said during closing arguments on Monday that Chauvin ‘betrayed his badge.’
‘That day, his badge wasn’t in the right place,’ Schleicher said. ‘He knew better. He just didn’t do better. This was not an accident.’
Chauvin lawyer Eric Nelson had hinged his case on three assertions: that Floyd died due to drug use and a heart ailment; that an unruly crowd of bystanders posed a threat and distracted the cop; and that Chauvin followed his training in using the restraint.
Minnesota AG Ellison reacts to verdict in Derek Chauvin trial:
“I would not call today’s verdict, ‘justice’…because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice.” pic.twitter.com/PZrrwcHi7i
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 20, 2021
Faces up to 75 years at time of sentencing
Chauvin faces 12 1/2 years or 150 months in prison under sentencing guidelines for a first-time offender. But, the prosecution argues there are aggravating factors that require a longer prison term. That means Chauvin may face longer than that sentence.
Reports indicate Chauvin indicate the kind of punishment that Chauvin will likely face.
Here’s the maximum prison sentence for each charge:
– second-degree unintentional murder — 40 years
– third-degree murder — 25 years
– second-degree manslaughter — 10 years
George Floyd’s brother reacts to verdict in Derek Chauvin trial: “No family in history ever got this far. We were able to get a guilty charge on all counts…This right here is for everyone that’s been in this situation.” https://t.co/Bob6AFcS1Z
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 20, 2021
Abuse of position of authority
Minnesota sentencing guidelines says each murder charge carries a presumptive sentence of 12.5 years in prison for a person with no criminal history, while manslaughter has a presumptive sentence of four years.
But prosecutors are seeking a sentence that goes above the guideline range.
They cited several aggravating factors, including that Floyd was particularly vulnerable, that Chauvin was a uniformed police officer acting in a position of authority, and his alleged crime was witnessed by multiple children.
In Minnesota, defendants typically serve two-thirds of their penalty in prison, with the rest on parole.