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Jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts for George Floyd's death

The jury has reached a verdict at the murder trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.

Posted: Apr 20, 2021 2:07 PM
Updated: Apr 20, 2021 5:15 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Returning to the Minneapolis court room on Tuesday afternoon, jurors in the trial of Derek Chauvin delivered their verdict on three charges stemming from the death of George Floyd.

The jury found Chauvin guilty on all counts — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Following the conviction, Judge Peter Cahill revoked Chauvin's bail, and the former officer was led from the courtroom in handcuffs. Cahill said that he expected a hearing for Chauvin's sentencing would be held in eight weeks.

The verdict arrived after roughly 10 hours of deliberations over the span of two days.

The 12 jurors had those three counts to consider as they weighed whether Chauvin was responsible for Floyd's death. The case was expected to come down to two key questions: did Chauvin cause Floyd’s death and were his actions reasonable? Each charge required a different element of proof as to Chauvin’s state of mind.

George Floyd's death after his arrest by police officers in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, sparked widespread anger after millions of people saw video of the event. The four officers at the scene were quickly fired and charged in his death.

The agonizing bystander video shows Floyd repeatedly crying “I can't breathe" and eventually going still as Officer Derek Chauvin presses his knee on Floyd's neck.

The video's release sparked immediate protests and sometimes violent riots nationwide and around the world.

The courthouse was ringed with concrete barriers and razor wire, and thousands of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers were brought in ahead of the verdict. Some businesses were boarded up with plywood.

At the Minneapolis intersection that has been dubbed George Floyd Square, about 100 people gathered around a large painting of Floyd in anticipation of the verdict in the murder trial.

The site is located outside of Cup Foods, the convenience store linked to Floyd’s fatal interaction with Chauvin last May.

Several families with small children are among those holding vigil for an announcement from the court.

Eliza Wesley, who identified herself as a gatekeeper of Floyd Square, led those gathered in a word of prayer.

“I don’t have any doubt in you, God,” she said. “You said no weapon formed against us can prosper. ... We’ve been here for 11 months. ... This is the day that the Lord has made.”

Oregon Governor Kate Brown released a statement shortly after the verdict, offering her thoughts on the outcome:

“George Floyd’s life mattered. His death, at the hands of Derek Chauvin, shook our nation to its core. My thoughts are with his family today.

“Thousands of people last year, including here in Oregon, took to the streets to raise their voices in a clarion call for racial justice and police reform. A call for an America where Black Lives Matter.

“Today’s verdict is one step towards that goal. But it is only a single step toward police accountability. It is also a reminder of how much work we have left to do. We will dismantle the structures of racism and inequality in this country just as they were built, brick by brick.

“As a nation, we grieve for the life of George Floyd. And we will honor his memory by continuing to do the hard work to increase police accountability in this country. As we have seen in the last year, that process is not easy and change will not come overnight.

“The path to a more just and equitable Oregon begins with understanding. Understanding our state and our nation’s deeply racist history, and resolving to work together to build a better future for this generation and those to come.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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