Chauvin convicted of murder in Floyd case | Blue Mountains Gazette
Former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of all three counts of murder and manslaughter in the murderous arrest of George Floyd, a milestone in the tense racial history of the United States and a reprimand for law enforcement’s treatment of black Americans.
The 12-member jury has found Chauvin, 45, criminally responsible for Floyd’s death last year after considering three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, including bystanders, police and medical experts. Deliberations began Monday and lasted just over 10 hours.
In a confrontation captured on video, Chauvin, who is white, dug his knee into the neck of Floyd, a handcuffed 46-year-old black man, for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020, as he and three fellow officers arrested Floyd on charges of using a fake US $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes at a grocery store.
Chauvin, wearing a gray suit as well as a pandemic-linked light blue face mask, nodded and stood up quickly when the judge ruled his bail had been revoked and he was placed in prison. Sentencing will be in two months.
Chauvin had pleaded not guilty to the charges of unintentional second degree murder involving “intentional causing bodily harm”, unintentional third degree murder of “depraved mind” involving an “eminently dangerous act” and manslaughter second degree culprit resulting in death. caused by “culpable negligence”.
Outside the courthouse on Tuesday afternoon, a crowd of several hundred people erupted for joy when the verdict was announced.
Songs of “George Floyd” and “The Three Charges” erupted. In George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, the intersection where Floyd was killed and now bears his name, people shouted, clapped and cried. The site has since become a rallying point for racial justice protests.
“Justice for black America is justice for all of America,” Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement. “This case is a turning point in American history for law enforcement accountability and sends a clear message that we hope to be heard clearly in every city and state.”
Floyd’s death sparked protests against racism and police brutality in cities across the United States and around the world. Before the verdict, many downtown businesses closed their windows, bracing for possible violence.
Chauvin faces 12-1 / 2 years in prison for his murder conviction as a first-time offender. Prosecutors could, however, seek a longer sentence of up to 40 years if Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the trial, determines there were “aggravating factors.”
The jury included four white women, two white men, three black men, one black woman and two multiracial women.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver remarks Tuesday evening.
Biden, Harris and First Lady Jill Biden called members of the Floyd family moments after the verdict, according to Crump.
Biden told the family, “Nothing is going to make things better, but at least now there is some justice.” He added: “We are all so relieved.”
The intersection of race and law enforcement has long been controversial in the United States, underscored by deadly incidents involving white and black police officers in recent years.
The Minneapolis Police Department fired Chauvin and three other officers the day after Floyd’s arrest. The other three are set to stand trial later this year for complicity in Floyd’s death.
A cardiologist, pulmonologist, toxicologist and medical examiner were called by prosecutors to testify that videos and autopsy results confirmed that Chauvin killed Floyd by compressing his body in the street in a way that deprived him oxygen.
The defense argued that Chauvin behaved like any “reasonable policeman” would and claimed that heart disease or even the exhaust from the nearby police car may have been a factor. in Floyd’s death.
Darnella Frazier, a teenage girl who told the jury that she was taking her nine-year-old cousin to the Cup Foods grocery store that evening for snacks, was among witnesses called by prosecutors.
Frazier had used his cell phone to make a video depicting Floyd’s ordeal, footage that catalyzed subsequent protests. Floyd can be heard in the video yelling at his mother and telling officers he can’t breathe. Eventually, Chauvin lifts his knee to allow paramedics to place Floyd’s soft body on a stretcher.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo appeared as a prosecution witness to testify that Chauvin’s actions during the arrest represented a blatant violation of his training.
Live coverage of the trial by US networks was occasionally interrupted by new episodes of police violence filmed.
For example, black motorist Daunte Wright was fatally shot on April 11 during a traffic stop in a suburb of Minneapolis.
Australian Associated Press