On Tuesday (April 20), following three weeks of testimonies, a jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota found Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd.
The jury — made up of six white people, four Black people and two multiracial people —announced the verdict after about a day of deliberation. The former officer is now convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
After a few delays, including one surrounding the settlement reached between Floyd’s family and the City of Minneapolis, members of the jury were selected, and the former cop’s murder trial started in late March.
In the weeks following, prosecutors provided evidence and called 38 witnesses, including the girl who recorded Floyd’s fatal arrest, to the stand to support their claims that Chauvin suffocated the late man to death. They argued that Floyd died from asphyxia (lack of oxygen) after the former officer placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, ignoring his pleas for help as well as bystanders’ request to let him go.
Chauvin and his defense team, on the contrary, called on seven people, including medical experts, to prove that Floyd died from a pre-existing heart condition, adrenaline, and the ingestion of a fentanyl and methamphetamine mixture. They added that his exposure to carbon monoxide was also a possible contributing factor.
In May 2020, Floyd was arrested outside of a Cup Foods convenience store for buying cigarettes with an alleged counterfeit bill. His encounter with Chauvin and responding officers escalated to his horrific assault and killing, both of which were captured in now-viral videos of his death. The police-involved killing sparked worldwide protests and demands that Chauvin be held accountable for his actions.
Following today’s (April 20) verdict, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao, the other officers present during Floyd’s shooting, will appear in court during their joint trial in August. They face charges of aiding and abetting.