Jurors on Tuesday found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd last May. The jurors came to their decision after 10 hours of deliberations and some three weeks of testimony, which included dozens of witnesses. Chauvin, 44, was taken away in handcuffs and will go directly to jail. He will be sentenced in eight weeks. The recommended sentence in Minnesota for a first-time offender found guilty is 12-and-a-half years in prison for either second- or third-degree murder, and four years for second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis for allegedly spending a counterfeit $20 bill, died facedown on the ground with his hands cuffed behind him as the white officer pinned his knee to Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes. Millions around the world saw the video of Chauvin, his hands in his pockets and his sunglasses atop his head, with Floyd underneath him crying out for his dead mother and repeatedly gasping, “I can’t breathe.”The tragedy sparked worldwide protests against racial bias and police brutality and forced many law enforcement agencies to review and reform their policies on use of force.
Three other now-former officers on the scene with Chauvin — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — all were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and will be tried apart from Chauvin this summer. All have pleaded not guilty.
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