The jury in the trial of former white cop Derek Chauvin, charged with killing African-American George Floyd last year, finds 45-year-old Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter charges in Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, in a case that sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality around the world.
The twelve-member jury – seven women and five men representing Minneapolis’ racial diversity – deliberated behind closed doors for four hours on Monday afternoon at the end of a three-week trial, and reconvened on Tuesday morning. In his final instructions, Judge Peter Cahill highlighted the seriousness of the case, which comes amid heightened tension fueled by other deaths of black people at the hands of white police officers. “They should not allow prejudice, passion, sympathy or public opinion to influence their decision,” Cahill said. “They should not consider the consequences or sanctions that could derive from their verdict.”
I know required a unanimous verdict for conviction on any of the three counts: murder in the second degree, murder in the third degree or manslaughter. Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, faces a maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted of second-degree murder, the most serious charge.
George Floyd’s voice resounded for the last time in the Minneapolis courthouse on Monday. «Noo, please, i’m not a bad guy! ”He begged. Sitting on the bench, agent Derek Chauvin, 45, listened impassively, without showing the slightest emotion, just like on May 25 when his death set the entire country on fire. “Not even his sunglasses moved,” the prosecutor recalled during the trial.
The officers who came to the complaint that Floyd had paid for a pack of cigarettes with a counterfeit $ 20 bill need not have detained him. They could have fined him and given him a court summonsbut instead they decided to handcuff him and detain him. Floyd, a six-foot tall man who suffered from claustrophobia, resisted arrest by pleading with them with all his might. “Please, officer, what is this about? Please, I’m not one of those bad guys!
They ignored him. Chauvin, a known racist at the club where he worked at night, according to the owner told the press, decided to teach him a lesson. He took him out of the car, despite having him already handcuffed, something totally outside the protocol. Floyd thanked him with relief, not imagining it would make him bite the asphalt. The policeman knelt on his neck and let him beg until his last breath: 9 minutes and 29 seconds, three more than it took him to die. Why? “Out of pure ego,” prosecutor Steve Shteicher ruled in closing the case Monday. Pride of the worst caliber. He wasn’t going to let pedestrians tell him what to do. He was going to do whatever he wanted and he was going to have it there for as long as he wanted ».
He had Floyd’s life and death under his knee, but the pedestrians who have testified at trial had him in their sights on the phone. The video went viral, gave the Around the World, sparked the biggest race riots since the death of Martin Luther King and ultimately put him on the bench on three counts: second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter.
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