A U.S. jury has found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd. The death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, sparked international protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts – second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter – according to ABC: After the verdict was read, his bail was immediately revoked and he was led away in handcuffs.
Three other former Minneapolis officers charged with accessory to murder in the death of Mr. Floyd will stand trial in August
Jury deliberations began after a full day of closing arguments Monday (local time) and lasted just 10 hours before a verdict was reached.
The Minneapolis courthouse reportedly was surrounded by concrete barriers and barbed wire, and thousands of National Guard and law enforcement troops were called in ahead of the outcome.
The decision to convict Chauvin of murder rested with 12 jurors – six white and six people who are black or multiracial.
George Floyd, 46, died May 25 after being arrested on suspicion of exchanging a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner store.
He panicked, stating he was claustrophobic and resisted police when they tried to put him in a patrol car. Instead, they put him on the ground. The centerpiece of the case was video of a passerby repeatedly telling Floyd, “I can’t breathe.”
Passersby yelled at Chauvin to stop while the officer pressed his knee on or near Mr. Floyd’s neck, which authorities said lasted nine and a half minutes.
Chauvin was convicted of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin stood up after the judge ordered his bail revoked and an officer handcuffed his hands before he was led out of the courtroom.
Chauvin, an ex-police officer, faces up to 75 years in prison.
Outside the courthouse, the crowd erupted in cheers after the verdict was announced.
“All three counts! All three counts!” the crowd chanted.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Harris addressed the nation Tuesday after Chauvin was convicted of murder for the death of George Floyd.
“It was a murder in the full light of day, and it took the blinders off for the whole world to see systemic racism,” Biden said from the White House, calling American racism “a stain on the soul of our nation.” He said the ruling was “a step forward” and that such a verdict in a police brutality case was “also far too rare.”
Biden urged Americans to confront the issues raised by Floyd’s murder.
“‘I can’t breathe.” We cannot let those words die with him. We must not turn away, we cannot turn away,” Joe Biden said.
According to the White House, the president watched the sentencing with Harris and staff in the private dining room.
Afterward, he said, he spoke with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, who thanked him for his cooperation during the trial, according to Biden.
Biden, Harris and first lady Jill Biden also spoke from the Oval Office with Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother.
In a video of the phone conversation shared by the Floyd family’s attorney, Ben Crump, Biden is heard saying, “Nothing’s going to make everything better, but at least there’s some justice now.”
“We’re going to get a lot more,” Biden promised. He referred to the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Congress, adding, “that and a lot more.”
Harris, in her remarks following the guilty verdict, boosted the legislation as part of Floyd’s legacy. Harris vowed that the bill, which she helped author, would “hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities.”
Harris, who is the first woman of color to serve as vice president, acknowledged the longstanding inequalities of the criminal justice system, but said Chauvin’s guilty verdict was a step in the right direction.
“A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice,” she said. “This verdict brings us a step closer. And the fact is we still have work to do. We still must reform the system.”
Former President of the United States Barack Obama on the verdict in social networks:
“Today, a jury in Minneapolis did the right thing.
For nearly a year, the death of George Floyd under a police officer’s knee has reverberated through the world – inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new laws. But a more fundamental question has always remained: Would justice be served?
In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we are honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.
True justice requires us to come to terms with the fact that black Americans are treated differently, every day. It requires us to acknowledge that millions of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement may be their last. And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.
While today’s ruling may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from sufficient. We cannot rest on our laurels. We must follow through on the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system. We will need to redouble our efforts to expand economic opportunities for communities that have been marginalized for too long.
And as we continue the fight, we can draw strength from the millions of people – especially young people – who marched, protested and raised their voices last year, shining a light on injustice and demanding change. Justice has moved closer today, not simply because of this verdict, but because of their work.
Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, hoping that they may find peace. And we stand shoulder to shoulder with all those who are working to guarantee every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied.”
Here also in german: Urteil: Derek Chauvin schuldig des Mordes an George Floyd