Derek Chauvin found guilty for George Floyd’s death


Margaret He

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts in George Floyd ‘s murder on Apr. 20. He is set to be sentenced June 16. Art by Margaret He.

Miles Gelatt, News Editor

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter by a jury on April 20 for the murder of George Floyd outside of a local Minneapolis convenience store. The jury, which began deliberating on Apr. 19  after three weeks of witness testimony, took about 10 hours to reach the unanimous verdict.

Prosecutors argued that Chauvin’s actions caused Floyd to die from low oxygen, or asphyxia. The defense claimed that Chauvin’s actions were part of his police training and that Floyd’s illegal drug use and a pre-existing heart condition were to blame for his death, urging jurors not to rule out other theories, such as exposure to carbon monoxide.

Floyd’s murder, which occurred in May of 2020, was captured on video and showed Chauvin kneeling on the back of Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 26 seconds. The killing sparked outrage and a call for racial and social justice movements around the world last summer.

President Joe Biden said that the verdict was a step forward. .

“In order to deliver real change and reform, we can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen and occur again; to ensure that Black and brown people or anyone — so they don’t fear the interactions with law enforcement, that they don’t have to wake up knowing that they can lose their very life in the course of just living their life,”  Biden said.

Biden was flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris, who said, “It is not just a Black America problem or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American. It is holding our nation back from reaching our full potential. A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice.” 

Chauvin now faces a 40-year maximum sentence for the second-degree unintentional murder conviction, a 25-year sentence for third-degree murder, and a 10-year sentence for second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin’s bail was immediately revoked, and his sentencing date is currently set for June 16.