Derek Chauvin found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd
MINNEAPOLIS — The jury has found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd last May.
Chauvin, 45, was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The judge asked each juror if the verdict was correct, thanked them and dismissed them. “I have to thank you, on behalf of the people of the state of Minnesota, for not only jury service, but heavy-duty jury service,” Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said.
He revoked bail and told Chauvin to report back in eight weeks for sentencing. Chauvin, silent and wearing a gray suit and a light blue surgical mask, was handcuffed and taken into custody.
George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd was sitting with his head bowed and his hands folded in front of his face in prayer before the verdict was read. As each verdict was read, his hands increasingly shook and his head nodded up and down.
“I was just praying they would find him guilty. As an African American, we usually never get justice,” Floyd said.
Afterward, Floyd cried and hugged prosecutors, who shook hands with the Minnesota attorney general. One prosecutor wiped away tears.
Chauvin, who is white, was seen on video pinning George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, to the ground with his knee last Memorial Day for over nine minutes after police responded to a report that Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill.
Cellphone video of the incident went viral and touched off months of protests in the U.S. and abroad condemning police brutality and calling for racial justice. The widely watched trial, which began in March with jury selection, was livestreamed – Minnesota’s first criminal case to be televised.
Chauvin faces 12 1/2 years or 150 months in prison under sentencing guidelines for a first-time offender. But, the prosecution argues there are aggravating factors that require a longer prison term. That means Chauvin may face longer than that sentence.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that Chauvin’s knee – pressed against Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed and face-down on the street – led to his death by loss of oxygen. The defense argued underlying heart issues and the methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system caused Floyd’s death while he struggled with police.
The prosecution rested its case last week after calling 38 witnesses and playing dozens of video clips over the course of 11 days. The defense rested Thursday after calling seven witnesses over two days. Attorneys for both sides presented their closing arguments Monday.