White cop Derek Chauvin who crushed African American George Floyd’s neck to death with his knee – a murder that sparked a wave of massive protests against racism and police brutality across the United States. He received a harsh verdict on Tuesday: he was found guilty of the three murder charges he faced and can be imprisoned for 40 years.
It took just about 10 hours for the jury reach the verdict that had the entire United States in suspense. With thousands of people on the streets of Minneapolis in the midst of enormous tension, with businesses boarded up and the Guardia Civil on the streets, the 12 people designated to establish the fate of police officer Derek Chauvin, 45, found him responsible for the death. by Floyd.
The instant the verdict was known – broadcast live on television throughout the country – a burst of relief and jubilation was heard in the streets of the city. There was great fear that Chauvin would be acquitted or that he would only be found guilty of a lesser charge. But the decision was the harshest possible. There were tears among the crowd gathered at the corner where Floyd was killed and where a makeshift altar was erected.
The jury, made up of 5 white, 4 African American and 2 mixed race, they had retired to deliberate after Monday night’s allegations to a hotel to remain insulated from any pressure. The verdict was reached unanimously and was announced in court by the judge.
Jurors are anonymous and are only known by number. There are 7 women and five men who have been in isolation since the beginning of this high-profile trial, on March 29.
Members of the National Guard in Minneapolis, fearing riots. Photo Bloomberg
Shortly before the ruling was known, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, had estimated “overwhelming” the evidence against the former white cop and had asked for a “correct” verdict on the second day of jury deliberations in Minneapolis. Biden told reporters in the Oval Office that he had spoken by phone with “George’s family,” whom he met last June before Floyd’s funeral.
In the trial televised live by the main media in the United States, Minnesota state attorney Steve Schleicher summarized to the jury on Monday what the prosecution has been raising since the trial began on March 29: that Agent Chauvin exceeded the use of force, which Floyd died from lack of oxygen caused by the tightness of the knee in his neck and that he was not given any kind of medical help before the paramedics arrived.
“George Floyd begged until he could speak no more,” the prosecutor continued, saying that Chauvin “was all asked for a little compassion and he showed nothing that day.”
The defense, led by attorney Eric Nelson, argued that Floyd’s death it was for other reasons, such as underlying illnesses, high blood pressure, opiate use and the stress of the moment, among others. And that Chauvin had acted in a regular police procedure because Floyd, who had been arrested for allegedly paying with false $ 20, had resisted.
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