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Derek Chauvin’s Conviction Is ‘Not A Cause For Celebration’, Says Lead Prosecutor

by : Julia Banim on : 26 Apr 2021 10:24
Derek Chauvin's Conviction Is 'Not A Cause For Celebration', Says Lead ProsecutorPA Images/CBS News

The lead prosecutor in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial has stated that the guilty verdict shouldn’t be viewed as ‘a cause for celebration’.

Chauvin was convicted on all three counts on April 20, after kneeling on George Floyd’s neck during an attempted arrest back in May 2020.

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Many of those following the case were pleased to see that a guilty verdict had been handed down, having been horrified by the footage of Floyd pleading for his life.

Derek ChauvinPA Images

Floyd’s death sparked conversations across the world about police brutality and institutional racism, and so Chauvin being held accountable for his actions has widely been regarded as a step in the right direction.

However, Keith Ellison, the attorney general of Minnesota, told The Star Tribune that he did not celebrate the verdict.

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Ellison said:

It’s not a cause for celebration. It’s sad, very sad. One man’s dead and another man’s going to prison for a long time.

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The Attorney General’s Office led the prosecution in this trial, assisted by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

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Ellison was the individual who brought together several high-profile external attorneys to work alongside the prosecution from both of these offices.

This team included Special Assistant Attorney General Jerry Blackwell, whose important role included delivering the state’s opening statement and questioning witnesses as well as giving the rebuttal closing argument.

Reflecting on the case, Blackwell told The Star Tribune:

It’s a tragedy, and there really are no winners in a tragedy.

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George FloydPA Images

Ellison also spoke of his complicated feelings towards the verdict during an interview with Scott Pelley on CBS’s 60 Minutes.

The attorney general told Pelley that he had felt a sense of ‘gratitude – humility – followed by a certain sense of, I’ll say satisfaction’ following the verdict, adding:

I spent 16 years as a criminal defence lawyer. . So, I will admit, I felt a little bad for the defendant. I think he deserved to be convicted. But he’s a human being.

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Ellison clarified that by showing some compassion towards Chauvin, he was not ‘in any way wavering’ from his responsibility, remarking:

I hope we never forget that people who are defendants in our criminal justice system, that they’re human beings. They’re people. I mean, George Floyd was a human being. And so I’m not going to ever forget that everybody in this process is a person.

Chauvin is currently being held in a maximum security prison where he remains in isolation for 23 hours every day. Sentencing will be handed down on June 16.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Derek Chauvin, George Floyd, Now

Credits

Star Tribune and 1 other
  1. Star Tribune

    Chauvin verdicts 'not a cause for celebration,' prosecutor says

  2. CBS

    60 Minutes