US jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty of George Floyd murder
Published: 09:46 AM, 21 April 2021 Updated: 11:06 AM, 21 April 2021
Chauvin filmed kneeling handcuffed Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest, as a result, Floyd died at one point; Photo: Collected
A US jury has found former policeman Derek Chauvin guilty of murder over the death of African-American George Floyd on a Minnesota street last year. As a result, the former police officer could face up to 40 years in prison.
A 12-member jury panel announced the verdict in the case on Tuesday local time. The jury has been consulted to find out whether the verdict is correct.
In the case, the former policeman was convicted of second and third-degree murder and second-degree unlawful manslaughter.
All three charges against Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s murder have been proven in court. As a result, he will remain in custody until he is sentenced and could spend decades in jail.
The law carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison for unlawful manslaughter, a maximum of 25 years in prison for third-degree murder, and a maximum of 10 years in prison or a fine of $20,000 for second-degree murder.
On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police arrested 46-year-old Floyd on charges of using counterfeit money. At that time, while Floyd was handcuffed, Chauvin filmed kneeling Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Despite repeatedly saying he was having trouble breathing, the police officer did not get off Floyd’s neck. Due to this, at one point, Floyd died.
When the video footage of the incident spread through social media, thousands of people in the United States erupted in protest. Anti-racist protests began. The protests spread beyond the United States to Europe.
Meanwhile, Ben Crump, a lawyer for the Floyd family, said it marked a “turning point in history” for the US.
“Painfully earned justice has finally arrived,” he tweeted. “Sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement.”
United States President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris called the Floyd family right after the verdict.
“At least now there is some justice,” Biden was heard saying that, adding: “We are going to get a lot more done. This is going to be a first shot at dealing with genuine systemic racism.”