Earlier today, the jury handling the case of Derek Chauvin against the murder of George Floyd has reached a decision. The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty on all three charges, including second-degree manslaughter, second-degree and third-degree murder. Out of the three, the gravest charge is the second-degree murder count, which brings a prison sentence of up to 40 years.
The 45-year-old officer furrowed his brow slightly as the verdict was read. Chauvin was led away in handcuffs to await for his sentencing in eight weeks.
After the verdict was read, Minnesota attorney-general Keith Ellison said: “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice.”
Elliot led the prosecution team.
This particular trial has been one of the most closely monitored US court cases in recent years. And it is expected, especially since the murder of Floyd led to an upsurge of some violent protests around the world.
Following the verdict, President Joe Biden made a phone call to the family of Floyd. He told them: “At least, God, now there is some justice.”
Biden also made a speech at the White House where he expressed his relief at the verdict. The president shared that the decision had the potential to become “a moment of significant change.” He also encouraged police reform.
In downtown Minneapolis, a crowd waited for the announcement outside the Hennepin County Government Centre. The person leading the chant can be heard shouting “Say his name!” The crowd would then respond, “George Floyd.”
Regardless of the jury’s decision, the city had already expected protests to take place. Since March of this year, the Government Centre has been barricaded with a fence and a concertina wire on top of it. After another police shooting involving a black man at a traffic stop last week, civil unrest broke in a northern suburb. This prompted the National Guard to increase troops in the metro area.