Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd.
The jury found Mr. Chauvin guilty on all counts on Tuesday, April 20 in the Hennepin County courtroom, where jurors spent three weeks listening to testimony about the day Floyd died under the weight of the 45-year-old officer’s knee during an arrest on May 25, 2020.
The verdict was delivered after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days. He was handcuffed and remanded in custody to await sentencing in eight weeks, when he could face up to 40 years in prison on a second-degree murder charge and up to 25 years for third-degree murder. Second-degree manslaughter carries a maximum of 10 years.
Joe Biden cancelled scheduled events to watch the verdict from the West Wing after saying that the evidence was “overwhelming” and he was “praying” for the right decision.
After the verdict, he called the Floyd family and said while nothing will make it all better, “at least God now there is some justice”.
He said, “We’ve been watching every second of this, and the vice president, all of us, and we’re all so relieved not just for one verdict but all three, guilty on all three counts, and it’s just really important.”
Despite the decision, trial judge Peter Cahill previously said comments from Democrat congresswoman Maxine Waters could see the whole trial overturned on appeal. She had encouraged protesters to get “more confrontational” if Mr. Chauvin was not found guilty.
Following weeks of testimony from both sides, the prosecution and defense ended their closing arguments on Monday, with Prosecutor Steve Schleicher urging jurors to “believe your eyes” as defence attorney Eric Nelson said that the state failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Chauvin murdered Mr. Floyd.