unilad
Advert

Derek Chauvin Found Guilty On All Counts In George Floyd Trial

by : Emily Brown on : 20 Apr 2021 22:07
derek chauvin verdict 1Hennepin County Sheriff's Office/Offices Of Ben Crump Law

The jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, finding him guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

The verdict comes after a three-week trial in which the prosecution and defence presented their arguments regarding Chauvin’s actions during Floyd’s arrest. The former police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck and held him to the ground despite protests that he could not breathe.

Advert

Jurors heard testimony from 45 witnesses, including doctors, police officers and bystanders at the arrest, before lawyers made their closing statements on April 19 and the jury retired to consider its verdict.

PAPA Images

Following Floyd’s death, Chauvin was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. The maximum prison sentence for the most serious charge of second-degree unintentional murder is 40 years; the maximum sentence for third-degree murder 25 years, and the maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and/or $20,000, CNN reports.

In defending the former officer, Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, claimed he did what ‘any reasonable officer’ would have done after finding himself in a ‘dynamic’ and ‘fluid’ situation such as Floyd’s arrest. He alluded to the fact Chauvin’s body camera and badge were knocked off during the arrest, and claimed this highlighted ‘the intensity of the struggle’, BBC News reports.

Advert

Nelson also made reference to Floyd’s drug use, and argued that Chauvin was unlikely to have intentionally violated use-of-force rules because he knew the altercation was being recorded by onlookers.

PAPA Images

In contrast, prosecutor Steve Schleicher described Chauvin’s actions as ‘murder’, and urged the jury to use their ‘common sense’. He referred to video footage from Floyd’s arrest and told jurors to ‘believe your eyes’, adding, ‘What you saw, you saw.’

Ahead of the trial, Floyd’s family held a vigil in honour of their late loved one and expressed their hopes that there would be justice for his killing.

Advert

One of Floyd’s brothers, Terrence, commented, ‘We are [a] God-fearing family, we [are] church people. So, therefore, I’m just going to end it on this – we’re asking the system for the justice.’

PAPA Images

Another of his siblings, Philonise, told reporters that he had a ‘big hole’ in his heart that ‘can’t be patched up’. He added, ‘I need justice for George. We need a conviction.’

Floyd’s death sparked widespread Black Lives Matter protests that continued for weeks after he lost his life.

Advert

Activists have continued to show support during the trial, with one telling BBC News they planned to take to the streets once again after the trial, regardless of whether they were expressing satisfaction or continuing to demand justice.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Most Read StoriesMost Read

News

Israel’s Twitter Account Furiously Calls Out Bella Hadid For Attending Pro-Palestine March

Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Black Lives Matter, Derek Chauvin, George Floyd, Minneapolis, Murder, Now, Police

Credits

BBC and 1 other
  1. BBC

    George Floyd: US city on edge as jury deliberates Chauvin verdict

  2. CNN

    Derek Chauvin found guilty in the death of George Floyd