Following three weeks of testimony, a jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota, reported Derek Chauvin liable of all charges in the murder of George Floyd on Tuesday (April 20).
After approximately a day of deliberation, the jury — comprised of six white people, four black people, and two multiracial people — announced the verdict. The former officer has been found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Following a few delays, including one caused by the settlement reached between Floyd’s family and the City of Minneapolis, the jury was handpicked. The former cop’s murder trial began in late March.
Prosecutors produced evidence and called 38 witnesses to testify in the weeks that followed, along with the young woman who recorded Floyd’s tragic arrest. They contended that Floyd died of asphyxia (lack of oxygen) after the former officer placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, choosing to ignore his cries for help and the demands of bystanders to release him.
On the other hand, Chauvin and his defense team called seven witnesses, including medical experts, to establish that Floyd died as a result of a pre-existing heart condition, adrenaline, and ingestion of a fentanyl and methamphetamine mixture. They introduced that his exposure to carbon monoxide could have been a factor as well.
Floyd was arrested outside a Cup Foods convenience store in May 2020 for purportedly purchasing cigarettes with a counterfeit bill. His experience with Chauvin and responding officers culminated in his heinous assault and murder, which were both managed to capture in now-viral videos of his death. The officer’s killing sparked worldwide protests and calls for Chauvin’s prosecution.
Following today’s (April 20) verdict, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao, the other officers present during Floyd’s shooting, will appear before a judge as co-defendants in their August joint trial. They are being charged with assisting and abetting.