Former Police Officer Derek Chauvin Found GUILTY On All Charges
Today a 12 member jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd. Chauvin is guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Third-degree murder has a maximum of 25 years, and the manslaughter charge has a maximum of 10 years. Derek Chauvin, 45, faces as much as 40 years in prison. Legal experts expect Judge Peter Cahill to render a prison sentence for the guilty verdict soon.
Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd in May of 2020 reignited the national movement to save Black lives from police killings. Tens of thousands protested last Spring and Summer in the wake of Floyd’s murder. The public outcry over the viral video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes 29 seconds spread like wildfire, sparking worldwide demonstrations, including here in Elk Grove and Sacramento.
Jurors took only 10 hours over two days to decide Chauvin’s guilt on all three counts. The decision to convict a police officer is rare. As is the prosecution of police officers. Since 2005 only seven officers have been convicted of murder for police shootings. Large crowds marched and protested in Minneapolis in advance of today’s verdict. Reports say cheers could be heard as Judge Peter Cahill read the decision. The State of Minnesota called up its National Guard in advance.
His Name Was George Floyd
Reprinted for you below is a partial transcript of the prosecution’s closing arguments. Portions of the transcript are graphic in their description of Floyd’s death.
His name was George Perry Floyd Jr. and he was born October 14th, 1973 in Fayetteville North Carolina to his parents, George Floyd Sr. and Larcenia Jones Floyd, “Sissy”, the matriarch. You met George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, and you heard all about Sissy Floyd. She was George Floyd’s mom, she was the mom of the house, of the neighborhood. You heard about the special bond she and George Floyd shared during his life. You heard about their relationship, how he would always take time and special attention to be with his mother, how he would still cuddle with her in the fetal position. From George Floyd’s brother, you learned about George’s childhood.
During that time growing up in that house, George Floyd was surrounded by people he knew, people he recognized, and that knew him. A familiar face to pick out in the crowd. People need that. George Floyd was surrounded by people he cared about, and that cared about him throughout his life in that house, throughout his childhood and adolescence, into his adulthood.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died. Facedown on a pavement, right on 38th and Chicago, in Minneapolis. 9 minutes and 29 seconds, 9 minutes and 29 seconds. During this time, George struggled to breathe, to make enough room in his chest to breathe. But the force was too much, he was trapped with the unyielding pavement and the unyielding men who held him down. Pushing him. A knee to the neck, a knee to the back, twisting his fingers, holding his legs for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. The lungs in his chest unable to expand because there wasn’t enough room to breathe, George Floyd tried, he pushed himself into the pavement to lift himself to give his lungs, his chest enough room to breathe…He [Derek Chauvin] did what he did on purpose, and it killed George Floyd.Prosecutor Steve Schleicher
Reaction From Local & National Politicians
Both local and nationally elected officials reacted swiftly to the verdict.
While I’m relieved by today’s decision, I am also conscious of the fact that it is not enough. We must continue fighting for African American dignity in this country. True justice would be George Floyd getting to watch his daughter Gianna grow up. The conviction of Derek Chauvin is a step towards accountability, but it alone cannot undo the fact that for more than 400 years, the laws of this land have supported the dehumanization and attempted genocide of Black people. That is a fact of life.Dr. Shirley Weber, California Secretary of State
George Floyd would still be alive if he looked like me. That must change. No conviction can repair the harm done to the Floyd family, but today’s verdict provides accountability. Now, we must continue our work to root out the racial injustice that haunts our society.California Governor Gavin Newsom
“The grief and pain Black [Minnesotans] are experiencing will not go away with one verdict. We must dismantle white supremacy and build systems so every Minnesotan can live in safe and thriving communities, free from state violence and discrimination. That is justice.”Former Minnesota state representative Erin Maye Quade
“We’ve known Chauvin was guilty since the second we saw him murder George Floyd on film — but we also know of the racism inherent in our carceral and policing systems,” tweeted Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-New York). “This verdict doesn’t change that racism, or the work ahead needed to transform those systems to serve us.”Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-New York).
This is a developing story.