Former police Officer Derek Chauvin found guilty on all charges for death of George Floyd

National

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KFOR) – A Minneapolis jury found former police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges for the death of George Floyd.

The jury announced Tuesday afternoon that Chauvin is guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The former officer will be sentenced eight weeks from today.

Chauvin, a white officer, killed Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, on May 25, 2020, by pressing his knee against the back of Floyd’s neck while Floyd was face down on the ground.

He bore his knee on or near Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes as Floyd pleaded for his life, saying that he could not breathe and crying out to his deceased mother.

Three other officers – J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao – helped hold Floyd down and kept citizens concerned about Floyd’s well-being at bay as Chauvin kept his knee pressed against Floyd’s neck.

Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner, who ruled Floyd’s death a homicide, testified in the trial on April 9, saying that the way police held Floyd down and compressed his neck “was just more than Mr. Floyd could take,” given the condition of his heart, according to the Associated Press.

Floyd’s death sparked massive, prolonged protests, some violent, throughout the nation and in major cities across the globe. Protesters called for extensive police reform, noting the deaths of several unarmed Black men and women killed by police officers.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke Tuesday evening in response to the verdict.

Biden said Floyd was murdered and his death exposed a terrible truth that could no longer stay hidden.

“It was a murder in full light of day and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism the vice president just referred to,” Biden began, referring to Harris, who spoke ahead of him.

The full address from the President and Vice President is in the below video:

Kris Steele, Executive Director of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, issued the following statement regarding Chauvin’s conviction:

“We believe criminal justice reform means everyone is held accountable relative to the harm they’ve caused and with equity under the law. That’s why OCJR supports the men and women of the Minnesota jury who convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on all charges in the killing of George Floyd.

Our hearts go out to the Floyd family and everyone who works tirelessly in the pursuit of justice.”

KRIS STEELE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OKLAHOMANS FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

The Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City issued the following statement the day after the verdict:

“Like many across the country, the Oklahoma City Urban League was anxiously awaiting the verdict in the criminal case against Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Nearly one year ago, protests erupted around the nation in response to his murder, and for nearly 10 minutes, we all watched in horror as he pleaded for his life. While the conviction stands as an exception to the norm regarding police brutality convictions, we remain adamant and hopeful about the need for common-sense justice reform. Racial trauma has left the Black community in a perpetual state of grief, incessantly triggered by fatal encounters with police – leaving little to no room in our state and nation for healing.

The verdict in Minneapolis is a victory for the rule of law and a step in the right direction for holding every person accountable for their actions- but much more work remains.

We urge Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to further demonstrate a commitment to racial justice and to end the unjustified killing of Black people in America. Through our work in Community Convening and Social Justice we will continue to work towards racial and economic justice in Oklahoma City. In addition, we will remain focused on driving meaningful police reform and strengthening citizen engagement in community policing efforts.

Our support and thoughts continue to be with the family of George Floyd during this time. We urge everyone in our community to join the Urban League in making their voices heard in a safe, meaningful, and impactful way.”

URBAN LEAGUE OF GREATER OKLAHOMA CITY SPOKESPERSON

Original Story

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. The verdict is to be read late Tuesday afternoon.

Floyd died last May after Chauvin, a white officer, pinned his knee on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes in a case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.

The jury deliberated over parts of two days in a city on edge against another outbreak of unrest.

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin listens as his defense attorney Eric Nelson gives closing arguments as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill preside Monday, April 19, 2021, in the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The jury at former Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial in George Floyd’s death deliberated for a second day Tuesday in a city skittish over the outcome as President Joe Biden weighed in by saying he believes the case is “overwhelming.”

The racially diverse jury — anonymous and sequestered from the outside world — resumed deliberations in the morning as lawmakers and fellow citizens alike delivered their own opinions about the combustible case that triggered protests, scattered violence and a reckoning over racism in the U.S.

“It shouldn’t be really even questioned whether there will be an acquittal or a verdict that doesn’t meet the scale of the crime that was committed,” Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat, said in Brooklyn Center, a suburb just outside Minneapolis. The congresswoman said the Chauvin case looks open-and-shut.

In this image from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson gives closing arguments as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides Monday, April 19, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Guilty verdicts could mark a turning point in the fight for racial equality, she said.

“We are holding on to one another for support. Hopefully this verdict will come soon and the community will start the process of healing,” Omar said.

In Washington, the president said that he had spoken to Floyd’s family on Monday and “can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they’re feeling.”

“They’re a good family and they’re calling for peace and tranquility no matter what that verdict is,” Biden said. “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. I think it’s overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now.”

The president has repeatedly denounced Floyd’s death but previously stopped short of commenting on the trial itself.

In this image from video, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell, gives rebuttal during closing arguments as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides Monday, April 19, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, in the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Prosecutors argued that Chauvin squeezed the life out of Floyd last May when the white officer knelt on or near the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes. The defense contended that the now-fired white officer acted reasonably and that a heart condition and illegal drug use led to Floyd’s death.

The jury of six white people and six people who are Black or multiracial spent just a few hours on their task Monday after the day was mostly consumed by closing arguments. They will remain sequestered until verdicts are reached.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter The most serious charge carries up to 40 years in prison.

In this image from video, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill reads instructions to the jury before closing arguments, Monday, April 19, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Ahead of a verdict, some stores were boarded up in Minneapolis, the courthouse was ringed with concrete barriers and razor wire, and National Guard troops were on patrol. Last spring, Floyd’s death set off protests along with vandalism and arson in Minneapolis.

The city has also been on edge in recent days over the deadly police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man, Daunte Wright, in Brooklyn Center on April 11.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott joined a group of residents Tuesday to call for transparency and accountability in policing.

The mayor said he has met with Wright’s family several times and vowed to “do all that’s within our power to make sure that we are implementing the kind of changes that would prevent another Daunte.”

“What this community is saying is that his life is going to continue to matter,” Elliott said.

In this image from police body camera video George Floyd responds to police after they approached his car outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020. The image was shown as prosecutor Steve Schleicher gave closing arguments while Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presided Monday, April 19, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in the May 25 death of Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Doris Rendell, who is Black, burst into tears as she was standing in front of a memorial set up at the site of Daunte Wright’s death. She says the Wright case and the Floyd case reminded her of her own negative interactions with police when she was young.

“It’s terrible, it’s terrible to be black, to say that… It is. There’s so much racism out here, it’s pathetic … It’s like there’s no justice in the world for us. It’s like we’re a piece of a bean in a pie just getting picked off, just no one cares.

After the jury got the Chauvin case Monday, Judge Peter Cahill rejected a defense request for a mistrial based in part on comments from California Rep. Maxine Waters, who said “we’ve got to get more confrontational” if Chauvin isn’t convicted of murder.

The judge called her comments “abhorrent” and “disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch” and told Chauvin’s attorney that Waters “may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”

Demonstrators march from Hennepin County Government Center as the murder trial against the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd advances to jury deliberations, Monday, April 19, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Still, two defense attorneys in Minnesota said they consider a successful appeal over remarks like Waters’ or Biden’s extremely unlikely.

“Anybody who thinks undue publicity is going to get a case reversed in this day and age is just wrong,” said Joe Friedberg, who is unconnected to the case. “Just from a pragmatic standpoint, with social media, I don’t think it can ever be done again.”

Brock Hunter, past president of the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said a successful appeal would be unlikely unless there were direct evidence that Waters’ statements affected jurors.

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